Poor left to fend for themselves: Chidambaram

New Delhi (IANS) Extending support to Prime Minister Narendra Modi's lockdown measures, former Union Minister P Chidambaram on Tuesday, however, slammed the Centre for not releasing money or food for the poor and said that they have been left to fend for themselves.

"But beyond the lockdown, what was 'new' in PM's new year message? It is obvious that livelihood for the poor - their survival - is not among the priorities of the government," Chidambaram tweeted.

"The poor have been left to fend for themselves for 21+19 days, including practically soliciting food. There is money, there is food, but the government will not release either money or food. Cry, my beloved country," he said.

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He also attacked the government for not listening to the economists at crucial times. "From "Raghuram Rajan to Jean Dreze, from Prabhat Patnaik to Abhijit Banerji, their advice has fallen on deaf ears."

He said that the states are not getting their dues and the Chief Ministers' demand for money has elicited no response. Not a rupee has been added to the miserly package of March 25, 2020.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday announced the extension of the nationwide lockdown till May 3, to curtail the spread of COVID-19.

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