As India battles the coronavirus crisis, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday held a video-conference with chief ministers to take their feedback on nationwide lockdown extension beyond April 14. Meanwhile, PM Modi was seen wearing a mask during the interaction with chief ministers.
Punjab Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh, West Bengal CM Mamata Banerjee, Maharashtra CM Uddhav Thackeray, Uttar Pradesh CM Yogi Adityanath, Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal, Haryana CM Manohar Lal Khattar, Telangana CM K Chandrashekhar Rao and Bihar CM Nitish Kumar were among the chief ministers who attended the meeting.
The video-conference comes amidst indications that the central government may extend the nationwide lockdown with some possible relaxations. Meanwhile, Punjab and Odisha have already announced extending the lockdown beyond April 14 while the current 21-day lockdown across the country will end on Tuesday.
Union Home Ministry sought opinions of the state governments on various aspects, including whether more categories of people and services need to be exempted. Currently, only essential services are exempted in the lockdown. In the meanwhile, Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal also suggested to PM Narendra Modi that the lockdown should be extended till April 30 all over India.
This is for the second time the Prime Minister Narendra Modi interacted with the chief ministers via video conference after the lockdown was imposed. During his April 2 interaction with chief ministers, PM Modi had asked opinions for a "staggered" exit from the ongoing lockdown.