On Thursday, senior ministers and BJP members met at party chief JP Nadda’s residence to discuss the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and the resulting crisis in the country.
Union home minister Amit Shah was also in attendance at the meeting, reportedly held to discuss strategies to help the underprivileged sections in the country, who are suffering the most during these testing times.
In his national address on Tuesday, Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced a comprehensive Rs 20 lakh crore special economic package for the country to become “self-reliant” and combat the deadly coronavirus that has gripped the world.
According to sources, since the nationwide lockdown, this is the first such meeting held at the residence of Nadda with a majority of union ministers present along with party leaders. The issues discussed at the meeting predominantly focused around migrant workers steps taken by the central government including financial help and shelter homes to aid them. They are also understood to have discussed the “reluctance” of some states to allow trains bringing migrants.
The special economic package recently announced was also discussed and ministers and party leaders were asked to get their doubts clarified on the package details announced by finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman.
“Government has given money to keep shelter homes running. Also, they have permitted states to use SDRF funds for providing food and water,” a source said.
Another source said that reluctance to allow trains bringing migrants too was discussed."It is a federal structure and states have say in many matters. Many like West Bengal and Maharashtra are not too forthcoming with allowing trains. For them bringing migrants is a problem despite the aid provided by the Centre,” the source said, as reported by HT.
Those present at the meeting also included Union ministers Ravi Shankar Prasad, Gajendra Singh Shekhawat, MA Naqvi, Jitendra Singh, Prakash Javadekar, Thawar Chand Gehlot, Santosh Gangwar, Smriti Irani, Rattan Lal Kataria, Mansukh Mandavia besides party leaders GVL Narasimha Rao, Sudhanshu Trivedi, Meenakshi Lekhi, Gopal Krishna Agarwal and Shahnawaz Hussain.
Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman and commerce and industry and railways minister Piyush Goyal are also believed to have been present.