New Delhi: The Congress party has called Prime Minister Narendra Modi's call to express solidarity with the April 5 initiative of lighting up lamps at 9 pm on Sunday an event laced with theatrics.

Congress General Secretary (Organisation) KC Venugopal, in a statement, said that spread of COVID-19 and consequent nationwide lockdown requires practical interventions from the Prime Minister in terms of equipping hospitals and health centres, providing personal protective equipment like N-95 masks, Hazmat Suits to the health workers and increased testing, as well a comprehensive economic package to the State Governments to deal with the emergency situation.

"Instead of addressing these crucial issues, Prime Minister Modi is coming up with dramatic acts simply to run away from his responsibilities and obligations. People expected the Prime Minister to speak on pressing issues like the government's efforts to curtail the virus transmission, initiating rapid testing, providing PPEs to the doctors, nurses and the health workers, trace and isolate the affected people and develop our health system," Venugopal said.

"More importantly, people across the country are reeling under the impact of the unplanned lockdown. The people expect not a magic wand but a comprehensive and strategic approach from the Prime Minister to deal with the unprecedented migrant labour crisis, issues of daily wage workers, the business community, people working in an unorganised sector and the middle class," he added.

The Congress General Secretary (Organisation) further said: "Shockingly, rather than addressing these concerns, the Prime Minister is coming up with stage-crafted events like lighting lamps and clapping, one after another. While motivation and unity is the need of the hour, but the government's response should not be limited to mere theatrics and rhetoric. It should rather focus on actions to motivate the people to face this unprecedented pandemic challenge."

Congress party has demanded that PM Modi should declare a comprehensive economic package for the state governments immediately to cope with the economic as well as a health emergency.