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‘Lighting candles okay as there is nothing to do at home’: Raj Thackeray

Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS) chief Raj Thackeray said the lockdown was playing havoc with the economy and Prime Minister Narendra Modi should have clarified matters.

Updated: Apr 04, 2020 18:15 IST

By HT Correspondent, Hindustan Times Mumbai

MNS Chief Raj Thackeray addresses a press conference at his Residence in Mumbai on Saturday. (ANI)

Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS) chief Raj Thackeray on Saturday said that Prime Minister Narendra Modi should have clarified matters about the lockdown to stop the spread of coronavirus instead of just asking people to light candles on Sunday night.

Although Maharashtra has been trying to enforce the lockdown strictly, Thackeray said he feared that if the citizens continued to roam on the streets, the lockdown could be extended again adversely affecting the economy.

“The Prime Minister should have clarified on the steps being taken on how he is going to handle the economy. This would have given hope to the country” he said at a press conference at his home.

He said that lighting candles was okay as there was nothing much to do at home.



“There is a fear among the daily wage earners and it is the duty of those in power to clarify things and assuage them,” he added. The MNS chief said the lockdown was playing havoc with the economy.

He also came down heavily on those indulging in black marketing of essential goods and said they needed to be beaten up, filmed and the videos made viral.

Prime Minister Modi in a video message on Friday, had urged citizens to switch off lights for nine minutes at 9 PM on Sunday and light a lamp or torch to “challenge the darkness of coronavirus”.

The call came under fire from opposition parties. Shortly after the PM’s broadcast, Congress leader P Chidambaram urged Modi to “listen to” people and announce measures to arrest the economic slide caused by coronavirus pandemic.

Chidambaram said that “symbolism is important but serious thought to ideas and measures is equally important”.

Congress MP Shahshi Tharoor described the call to light candles as “just a feel-good moment curated by India’s Photo-Op Prime Minister.”

Trinamool Congress MP Mahua Moitra asked the PM to “get real” and called for ensure immediate wages to construction and other labour during the lockdown as there are laws permitting this.

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