Corona war: Select mins to report to PMO, others to ensure poor are fed

March 26 (IANS) With the 21-day nationwide lockdown to prevent the spread of the coronavirus outbreak underway, the Narendra Modi-led government has got cracking on what it finds as a serious challenge — feeding the poor, impoverished and marginalised.

What's also a matter of concern for the government are the videos of panicky migrant workers walking back to their homes at far-off places, often without food.

Meanwhile, the PMO has asked for daily reports from select ministers who will oversee the overall coronavirus spread and the containment situation in the states they have been made responsible for.

The government has asked all its ministers to take charge of the states they come from in overseeing that the poor don't go hungry during the lockdown period. For instance, Babul Supriyo and Debasree Chaudhuri will be overseeing the situation in West Bengal, while Ravi Shankar Prasad and Ram Vilas Paswan will take charge of Bihar. Likewise, all other ministers will do the same.

The BJP has already started a campaign called ‘Lets feed the poor'.

Meanwhile, all BJP MPs have been asked to ensure that no one goes hungry in the present situation. How will they do it? They need to ensure that PDaS shops don't go out of ration or shops selling essentials like groceries or medicines don't shut shop or run out of stock.

This comes hours after BJP President J.P. Nadda held a video conferencing with the presidents of the party's state units, telling them to ensure that everyone gets food.

This move comes a day after a man from Narendra Modi's constituency in Varanasi asked the Prime Minister through video conferencing about the fate of the poor during this 21-day nationwide lockdown. The Prime Minister then urged Indians, who have economic means, to feed nine poor families for 21 days.

Meanwhile, the Prime Minister's Office (PMO) has also directed select ministers to inform the PMO on the status of the spread of coronavirus in different states on a daily basis.

Gajendra Shekhawat has been made in-charge of Punjab and Rajasthan, while Gen (Retd) V.K. Singh has been given the charge of Assam in this context.

Since Uttar Pradesh is a big state, four senior leaders have been asked to share the responsibility — Rajnath Singh, Sanjeev Balyan, Mahendra Nath Pandey and Krishnapal Gurjar.

Similarly, Dharmendra Pradhan will oversee Assam, Arjun Munda Chhattisgarh, Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi Jhharkhand while Nitin Gadkari and Prakash Javadekar will oversee the situation in Maharashtra.

Paswan and Prasad will also be responsible for giving daily report to the PMO on the status of coronavirus spread in Bihar.

As the country braces for a long lockdown, Modi in his televised interaction with the people from Varanasi on Wednesday said that India will have to win this war against the deadly virus in 21 days.



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