Deccan Chronicle

Rahul hits out at ‘Tughlaqi lockdown’

- April

New Delhi, 16: Taking a dig at the government, Congress leader Rahul Gandhi on Friday said its strategy to fight the Covid-19 pandemic consisted of imposing a ‘Tughlaqi lockdown’, ringing bells and singing praises to the Lord.

The Congress-led opposition has been criticisin­g the government over its handling of the pandemic and the vaccinatio­n drive, while the Centre has maintained that its timely steps have been instrument­al in fighting Covid19. In a tweet in Hindi, Gandhi said, “The Central government’s Covid-19 strategy - Stage 1- Impose a Tughlaqi lockdown, Stage

2- Ring bells, Stage 3- Sing praises to the Lord.”

The Congress in the past also has compared some of the government’s decisions to those taken by Delhi Sultanate ruler Muhammad bin Tughlaq, to allege that they were arbitrary and not well though out.

The party has also taken swipes at the government over its taali-thaali call last year in which people across India clapped, rang bells, blew conch shells and beat metal plates in solidarity with health workers fighting the novel coronaviru­s.

Later, on Instagram, Gandhi posted a video from his remarks to the media on this day last year when he had talked about lockdown providing time for ramping up health infrastruc­ture and contrasted it with a video report of how there is a massive shortage of resources to fight the pandemic currently.

“One year later, our people continue to suffer, our infrastruc­ture continues to crumble and our prime minister continues to turn away from his responsibi­lities,” he said in his post.

Congress general secretary Priyanka Gandhi Vadra appealed to the people to follow Covid-appropriat­e behaviour such as wearing masks and taking other precaution­s. “We have to win this battle together with caution and compassion,” she said in a tweet in Hindi.

Meanwhile, Union minister Prakash Javadekar

Friday said he has tested positive for coronaviru­s and urged those who came in contact with him in the last few days to get themselves tested.

Javadekar, who holds the key portfolios of Environmen­t, Forest and Climate Change; Informatio­n and Broadcasti­ng; and Heavy Industries and Public Enterprise­s; informed about it on Twitter.

“I have tested #COVID positive today. All those who have come in contact with me in the last 2-3 days may please get themselves tested,” he said. (sic)

Javadekar had received the first shot of vaccine at a private hospital in Pune on March 5. He had appealed to all the citizens to get when

Javadekar has been busy with engagement­s related to his ministries till recently, including a bilateral meeting with French Foreign Minister JeanYves Le Drian and an event at the French Embassy on Wednesday.

Several top political leaders, including Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath and Karnataka Chief Minister B S Yediyurapp­a, have also tested positive for coronaviru­s recently.

Senior Congress leader Randeep Singh Surjewala and Shiromani Akali Dal leader Harsimrat Kaur Badal also tested positive for coronaviru­s. — vaccinated as and they become eligible.

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