New Delhi: Prime Minister Narendra Modi told the floor leaders of various parties on Wednesday that the lockdown might continue. However, sources said that a decision on the matter could be taken after the Chief Ministers meet on April 11.
The meeting will be conducted through video conferencing. This meeting will be third one with the Chief Ministers of respective states.
Reports said the Prime Minister had requested the Chief Ministers to form a task force who will give suggestions if the lockdown will continue for some weeks or not. Sources said the CMs will be equipped with their suggestions on April 11.
Reports said that a number of Chief Ministers have already cautioned the Prime Minister against an immediate lifting of the lockdown.
Chief Minister of Telangana, K Chandrasekhar Rao, had argued in favour of extension of the ongoing lockdown. Rao has cited reports of the Boston Consulting Group survey, which favoured ruthless measures like extension of the lockdown till June.
However, Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot has called for a phased withdrawal of the lockdown if the situation so demands.
Sources said when Prime Minister told leaders on Wednesday that the suggestions he received were against lifting the shutdown, he was probably citing suggestions from KCR and Gehlot. They are from non-NDA parties.
Earlier on Tuesday, the Centre had held a Group of Ministers( GoM) meeting at Defence Minister Rajnath Singh’s residence which did not take any decision on ending the shutdown.
The government is weighing two options- loss of livelihood versus loss of life. The government seems to have favoured the KCR argument that economies can be rebuilt, but lives once lost cannot be brought back.
The Prime Minister may address the nation again on April 11 or 12 after the CMs conference.