Prime Minister holds talks with former presidents, former MPs and party bosses

NEW DELHI: Hours before people from across the country arrived at their door and balcony for the light-a-diya event as a sign of their determination to fight together against the coronavirus, PM Narendra Modi On Sunday, he approached prominent politicians, including former presidents, PMs and heads of some parties, to discuss the current situation emerging from the pandemic.

Modi called former presidents Pranab Mukherjee and Pratibha Patil to discuss issues related to Covid-19. He also called two former PM Manmohan Singh and H D Deve Gowda to discuss the situation in the country.

In addition, the Prime Minister summoned the head of Congress, Sonia Gandhi, the SP Patriarch Mulayam Singh Yadav and its national president. Akhilesh Yadav , Head of TMC and CM Mamata Banerjee, Odisha CM Naveen Patnaik, Telangana CM K Chandrashekhar Rao, head of DMK Stalin and leader of Akali Dal.

Sources said Modi's call to top state politicians and ministers was to discuss ways to restore normal life in the country once the 21-day blockade period ends.

In a recent interaction with top ministers via video conference, Modi had urged them to think of a tiered approach to restoring normal life after the shutdown ends.

As the 21-day blackout period, which started on March 25, is halfway through, the government is considering ways to ease the phase-in restrictions, and Modi's call to politicians was also to seek ideas on how to do it.

The prime minister will also interact with the leaders of various political parties through a video call on Wednesday. It has already had interactions with athletes and journalists in addition to two rounds of interaction with the main ministers.