Home Minister Amit Shah met Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday, a day after he spoke to various Chief Ministers and asked for feedback on the road ahead on the coronavirus lockdown, which is due to end on Sunday.
Sources said PM Modi and Amit Shah held discussions on a strategy on the shutdown and weighed how to restart economic activity amid a steady spurt in virus cases. Amit Shah had last evening asked Chief Ministers for feedback on the lockdown and their views on whether to extend it after May 31.
All Chief Ministers have given their views on how they want to move forward. Over the last few days, the Prime Minister’s Office has been reviewing the entire lockdown period to decide on the way forward from June 1. Goa Chief Minister Pramod Sawant, after his conversation with Mr Shah, claimed a possibility of the lockdown being extended by two more weeks.
The government has been concerned about sharp criticism of its strategy to counter coronavirus, which has pushed it to change its stance on several occasions. The government’s options include continuing with the National Disaster Management Act, which empowers the Centre to take all the decisions regarding health, which is a state subject. Or it can allow the states to have a final call on how they wish to proceed.
During the last extension of the lockdown in mid-May, the government had allowed extensive relaxations, leaving it to states to decide on what to reopen and what stays shut. Before lockdown4 was announced, PM Modi held discussions with Chief Ministers in a virtual meeting.