Chandrababu Naidu slams Jagan for considering new poll schedule

Telugu Desam Party (TDP) president N. Chandrababu Naidu has slammed Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister Y.S. Jagan Mohan Reddy for holding meetings with officials to discuss a fresh schedule for local body elections, ignoring the need to step up measures to check the spread of coronavirus.

The leader of Opposition said YSR Congress Party was playing a cruel joke on people by still considering to hold polls while the whole world is fighting to mitigate the worst effects of the dreaded virus.

"Jagan Mohan Reddy is not learning lessons and he is willing to risk the health of millions for political gains," said Naidu on Saturday while reacting to reports that the state government is considering to take South Korea as an example where the elections were held on Thursday despite epidemic threat and arrangements were being made for counting.

The government is reportedly planning to control infections through extensive testing and then go for local body polls after May 3, when extended lockdown ends.

The TDP leader has also written to Jagan Mohan Reddy not to force women's self-help groups, farmers' societies, hospital managements and trade and industry organisations to donate to the CM Relief Fund in the name of coronavirus relief.

"It was highly objectionable and atrocious on the part of YSRCP leaders to make forcible collections at a time when all sections of society were facing untold hardships in this epidemic lockdown crisis. If required, the government may accept voluntary donations from those who can afford to give despite the present financial distress," he said.

Meanwhile, Naidu addressed NRIs in a virtual conference calling for effective integration of knowledge and technology to overcome future challenges arising out of social distancing restrictions that may continue even after the coronavirus epidemic.

He underscored the importance of virtual working and digital living to ensure revival and continuation of everyday businesses, organisational and economic activities. These digital interventions would only help prevent any food crisis and troubles in law and order and financial fronts in future. A certain level of economic activity using digital platforms should be continued to avoid disruption of people's lives everywhere.

Naidu told nearly 1,000 NRIs, who came online from US, Australia, Bahrain and other countries that global crisis threats like the killer virus could be overcome only if online tools are promoted more.

Digital currencies should be made more cost-effective than paper currencies. Door delivery of cash should be ushered in to cover those who cannot adapt to digital solutions.

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