Taking a dig at Prime Minister Narendra Modi's call for lighting lamps on Sunday, the Congress has alleged that instead of addressing people's issues in the wake of COVID-19 pandemic and lockdown, he was indulging in theatrics and running away from his responsibilities.
"While motivation and unity is the need of the hour, the government's response should not be limited to mere theatrics and rhetoric. It should rather focus on actions to motivate the people to face this unprecedented pandemic challenge," party general secretary KC Venugopal said in a statement.
He also called upon the prime minister to declare a comprehensive economic package for state governments immediately.
Venugopal said people expected the prime minister to speak on pressing issues like the government's efforts to curtail the virus transmission, initiating rapid testing, providing PPEs to doctors, nurses and health workers, trace and isolate the affected people and develop the healthcare system.
He said people across the country are reeling under the impact of the unplanned lockdown.
The people expect not a magic wand but a comprehensive and strategic approach from the prime minister to deal with the unprecedented migrant labour crisis, issues of daily wage workers, business community, people working in un-organised sector and the middle class, he said.
"Shockingly, rather than addressing these concerns, the prime minister is coming up with stage-crafted events like lighting lamps and clapping, one after another," he said.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday urged people to switch off the lights at their homes and light up lamps, candles or mobile phone torches for nine minutes at 9 pm on Sunday to display the country's "collective resolve" to defeat the coronavirus.
The AICC general secretary said the spread of COVID-19 and consequent nationwide lockdown requires practical interventions from the prime minister in terms of equipping hospitals and health centres and increased testing, as well a comprehensive economic package for the states
"Instead of addressing these crucial issues, the prime minister is coming up with mere dramatic acts simply to run away from his responsibilities and obligations," Venugopal said in the statement.