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‘If lockdown is extended, BSP will welcome it,’ says Mayawati, asks govt to save doctors, nurses, police

She also appealed to the central and the state governments to rise above caste, religion and party politics at this hour of national crisis and keep in mind the interests of the poor, the weaker sections, labourers, farmers, etc, and help them before taking any decision.

SNS | New Delhi |

As the 21-day lockdown is soon going to get over and the government is contemplating yet at a exit strategy and possible extension of lockdown amid a drastic rise in the number of Coronavirus cases,  Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) will welcome the move, if the Centre decides to extend the nationwide lockdown, said party chief Mayawati, on Saturday.

In a series of tweets (in Hindi) BSP supremo Mayawati said, “If after serious review, the 21-day nationwide lockdown imposed in view of COVID-19, is extended by the Centre, then the BSP will welcome it.”

She also appealed to the central and the state governments to rise above caste, religion and party politics at this hour of national crisis and keep in mind the interests of the poor, the weaker sections, labourers, farmers, etc, and help them before taking any decision.

“The Centre and state governments should act fast to save the doctors, nurses, policemen, health workers and others indirectly involved in fighting the novel coronavirus, and their families, so that their confidence level is boosted,” the BSP chief said in another tweet.

Today, Prime Minister Narendra Modi held a meeting via video conferencing with the chief ministers of all states to discuss exit strategy and possible extension of lockdown amid a drastic rise in the number of Coronavirus cases.

Meanwhile, according to reports, as many as five states have requested for the extension of the nationwide lockdown till April 30.

Maharashtra’s CM Uddhav Thackeray expressed concerns to PM Modi over suspension of lockdown on 14 April as the number of cases crossed 1,500 infections in the state alone today and total number of infections in India rose to 7447.

Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal said the lockdown in the national capital should continue till 30 April at least to contain the spread of the Coronavirus infection.

He also said that the decision should be taken at the national level as a state-level decision might “not be much effective,” adding that even if the lockdown is eased, “the transportation should not be opened including movement by road, rail or air.”

In the video conferencing, Punjab Chief Minister Capt Amarinder Singh also recommended extension of national lockdown by at least a fortnight but called for special concessions for industry and agriculture sectors urgently. He also asked for a faster supply of rapid testing kits and special risk insurance for all government employees who are working at the frontline amid the pandemic.

PM Modi at the meeting, assured the chief ministers that he is open to suggestions.

“I am available 24×7. Any chief minister can speak to me and give suggestions on COVID-19 anytime. We should stand together shoulder-to-shoulder,” PM Modi said.

He said that states and the Centre needs to work together to win the battle against the deadly virus.

As of Saturday, India’s total number of Coronavirus cases has risen to 7447 with 239 fatalities. The country’s marked its sharpest rise with 40 deaths and 1035 new cases of infection in the last 24 hours.