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The top leadership of the Congress which has been unrelenting in its attacks on Prime Minister Narendra Modi have now pledged full support to the steps taken by his government  to handle the COVID-19 crisis.

In a letter to the prime minister on Thursday, she wrote: “As President of the Indian National Congress, I would like to state that we will support and collaborate fully with every step taken by the Union Government to ensure the containment of the pandemic,” Sonia Gandhi said. At this challenging and uncertain time, she said “ it was imperative for each one of us to rise above partisan interests and honour our duty towards our country and indeed, towards humanity.”

Sonia’s letter to the PM referred to the 21 day lockdown ordered by the government where she voice her full support. She noted that  the pandemic sweeping across the world had caused serious public health concerns, anguish and apprehensions in India and said :””It has imperiled lives and put at risk the lives and livelihoods of millions, particularly, the most vulnerable sections of our society. The entire nation stands as one in solidarity in the fight to halt and defeat the Corona pandemic,” Gandhi added.

Her son Rahul Gandhi too welcomed the Centre’s announcement of a Rs 170,000 crore worth of relief package for the weaker sections of the society from the economic fallout of COVID-19, was the “first step in the right direction.”

“The Govt announcement today of a financial assistance package, is the first step in the right direction. India owes a debt to its farmers, daily wage earners, labourers, women & the elderly who are bearing the brunt of the ongoing lockdown,” Gandhi said in a tweet today.

The turnaround by the Gandhis came a day after senior Congress leader and former union home minister P Chidambaram lauded the government’s handling of the crisis. “In the war on Coronavirus, Modi is the Commander and we are all footsoldiers”, he  had said on Wednesday.

Earlier in the day,  finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman had announced a Rs 170,000 crore worth of relief package to protect the weaker sections of the society from the economic fallout of Coronavirus. Making the announcement,  she said the PM Garib Kalyan Yojana will benefit migrant workers and rural poor and the women.

Sitharaman also announced that doctors, paramedics, nurses, Asha workers, cleaning workers involved in the fight against coronavirus and treating affected patients would be extended medical insurance cover of Rs 50 lakh each. Addressing the media, Sitharaman said the scheme will help 20 lakh health professionals and workers across the country in case they want to avail it.

-India Legal Bureau

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