Senior Congress leader and former law minister Ashwani Kumar on Friday called for an early comprehensive lockdown exit strategy to be put in place by the Centre in consultation with states.
He said Prime Minister Narendra Modi must take the nation into confidence before formulating such an exit strategy in the true spirit of federalism.
"One month into the lockdown, an early and a comprehensive exit policy is an emergent necessity. The centre and state governments must formulate the necessary strategy as a cooperative endeavour and consistent with the ethos of a federal democracy," he said.
Kumar said the prime minister must remain sympathetic to the needs of states, just as they have by and large deferred to Central advisories.
In this moment of reckoning, the resilience of our federalism is on test, he said.
He also said that Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh's request for a meaningful financial and technical package from the Centre to meet an unprecedented situation in the border state merits a positive consideration.
The fight against coronavirus will need to be fought with states and the Centre standing together, he said.
"The PM must take the nation into confidence concerning the exit strategy and on how he intends to engage with the state governments in this regard.
"Nothing justifies democratic power more than taking the people into confidence when choices are few and far from clear," Kumar said.
Congress chief spokesperson Randeep Surjewala also demanded that the government take a decision to lift the lockdown soon.
He said the Congress Working Committee has called upon the government to prepare a road map on the way ahead, as also lay down an exit strategy out of the lockdown slated to end on May 3.
"We hope the Prime Minister will do so and will unveil that strategy now, than later," he said.