Lucknow: Samajwadi Party chief Akhilesh Yadav said on Thursday the news of five crore people losing employment during the two weeks of lockdown was "worrying" and asked the government to step in and resolve the issue before people "began starving".
He asked the government to ensure the sufficient supply or food, medicine and employment after the lockdown to those who are affected.
“Due to the coronavirus pandemic followed by the lockdown, more than 85% people in private sector and 95% people in organised sector are facing difficult times," Yadav said.
"The situation has become so severe that unemployment rate in India has exceeded 23% and it will increase further more. Workers and labourers working in various states have been forced to migrate to their villages in huge numbers.”
He said the government should take cognizance of the problems and prepare a roadmap to help the families of those affected by unemployment.
"Otherwise the situation could become catastrophic and many may starve as well," he added.
Yadav urged the government to make arrangements and ensure food, medicine and employment to affected people after the lockdown.
"The help of mere one or two thousand rupees per month for our youngsters is simply not enough,” he said.
He also raised the issues faced by about 4.3 lakh weaver families in Varanasi.
“The weavers in Varanasi are unable to buy food, medicines, etc as they don’t have any income due to the lockdown. The government should also announce a relief package for them,” he said.
Varanasi is the parliamentary constituency of Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
The SP chief said his sole motive was to bring to the notice of the government the issues being faced by the people of the state.
"My party is not protesting just for the sake of it."
He said that while the entire country was united in the fight against coronavirus, the interests of the poor, labourers and weaker sections should not be ignored.