Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman addressed the media for the fourt consecutive time as part of the much touted Rs 20 lakh crores package amid the economic crisis that’s looming large on the country due to the lockdown to prevent the spread of coronavirus infection.
And for the fourth consecutive time, the finance minister did not at all mention the poor and destitute migrant workers who have been walking back home on foot due to the crisis created by he COVID-19 lockdown. Despite many measures announced by the government these migrants are forced to walk thousands of kilometres to reach their native villages and hundreds of them have been killed in road accidents.
Instead, the finance minister talked about:
Along with these announcements which have no direct or immediate relief for the poor, jobless and migrants, the social media was quick to notice that the ruling BJP happened to celebrate six years in the government on Saturday.
The celebrations of the ruling BJP, ‘promising’ announcements of the finance minister juxtaposed with the thousands of starving migrants walking back home for days prompted netizens to respond sarcastically. Soon, ‘ShamelessBJP’ started trending on Twitter.
The Congress too questioned these announcements and raised pertinent questions: After the package that was announced today, will even a single penny go into the pocket of 8 crore migrant labourers, farmers, 7 crore grocery shopkeepers or middle class? What will 14 crore people who lost their jobs get?
Senior Congress leader Jairam Ramesh called the finance minister’s announcements ‘bizarre’. In a series of tweets he slammed the government for not announcing a single measure which could increase demand and called it a ‘cruel joke’: