New Delhi: Will there be a Lockdown 4.0? What will be the outcome of the super long “marathon video conference” between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and the country’s chief ministers, Monday?
These were the questions asked on most news channels Monday night. Aaj Tak and ABP News both discussed a return to normalcy after 15 train routes opening up from Delhi were announced — a plan that seemed to be thwarted by the crashed IRCTC website.
On Aaj Tak’s ‘Special Report’, host Sayeed Ansari asked if the government had an exit plan before lockdown 4.0 with 47 days of the lockdown completed. The central government has allowed 15 trains to be operational from Delhi Tuesday, despite 67,000 cases of coronavirus in the country.
But while the PM was stuck in a “marathon baithak” with all the CMs, it appeared the whole country was trying to book train tickets at the IRCTC website, which had crashed. “Kabhi hang ho rahi hain toh kabhi chalu ho raha hain,” Ansari complained, adding that passengers could only travel with e-tickets and leave their homes only once they had an e-ticket which they could show to the police.
ABP’s Romana Isar Khan also commented on the IRCTC website crash. Since the announcement of railway lines opening up, there was major confusion among people regarding stations and routes that were open. “Can one go from Kanpur to Kolkata ? Gorakhpur to Delhi?,” she asked.
Only the IRCTC website could provide answers, but it sadly keeps hanging, said her colleague Pankaj Jha. “Ek saath desh bhar bahut saare log in kar rahe hain ticket lene” (a lot of people must be trying to buy tickets together), he guessed.
Khan also informed viewers that what did appear on the website, was a list of advisories that included that one must take their own food on the train, and that only online tickets would work. There are also no sleeper or general seats up for grabs, only AC coaches will be functional, said Khan.
On Zee News, anchor Aditi Tyagi was concerned with entirely different matters: “PoK mein kuch bada hone wala hain (something is about to happen in Pakistan-occupied-Kashmir),” she warned. She was not saying this casually, she clarified, as “Iske peeche hain sarkar aur sena ki bechaini aur sath ke sath tayari” (behind this was the government and army’s anxiousness as well as preparation).
After sending militant leader Riyaz Naikoo from `jannat’ to `jahunum’ (heaven to hell), the Indian army has made its intentions very clear, she said, “Hizbul may have appointed an another chief in J&K in Gazi Haider, but for the army there have been many Gazis who’ve come and gone.”
She claimed that a “scared” Pakistan, along with partner and militant Hafiz Saeed and underworld don Dawood Abraham, is planning “saazish” (ploy) against India.
On India Today’s ‘Newstrack’, anchor Rahul Kanwal, too, asked what life will look like post 17 May. He said that India Today’s ‘zone wise break up’ data showed that on 1 May , India had 130 hotspots with highest cases, 284 clusters with few cases, 319 districts with no cases.
Now on 10 May, there were still 130 hotspots, but 418 clusters with few cases, 179 districts with no cases. “Districts with few cases going up and the disease is clearly spreading eastwards,” he said looking at India’s Covid-19 map. “Will there be lockdown 4.0? Or will there be an opening up on Indian economy?,” he asked, while pacing up and down his set.
“Substantial opening up of the Indian economy, with containment only in the absolute hot spots — that seems to be the consensus emerging, but different chief ministers have different things to say.” He said the problem, however, was that now India was one of the top countries with the most number of active cases — compared to other countries like France, Italy etc., who had lots of cases but managed to get things in control.
On CNN News 18’s ‘News Epicentre’, host Marya Shakil spoke with TMC MP Derek O’ Brien to glean what West Bengal CM Mamata Banerjee might have said to the PM during yesterday’s big meeting.
O’Brien was in a rather foul mood. “I am not party to the meeting between the Prime Minister and a chief minister, that is not our style,” he snapped.
“But what are West Bengal’s concerns right now?” asked Shakil. “This is not a pin the donkey game you plan in school, where you have to decide it’s (the lockdown) ending or not,” `O’Brien replied acidly. He then launched a tirade against the Centre, reminding Shakil and her viewers that the first 21 day lockdown had been announced with a four hour notice. “How many CMs were consulted then? Zero,” he said.
He continued to call the Centre’s planning of the lockdowns “disastrous”, and said that Chapter 4 of Disaster Management Act stated that vulnerable groups like migrant workers have to be taken care of, but we have failed in that respect. Pointing out how states, despite only being consulted at a much later stage, were being pressured, he said, “Leave politics out and let’s stick to the plan of overcoming Covid-19 challenge”.
On NDTV 24×7’s ‘Left Right and Centre’, anchor Nidhi Razdan and Sanket Upadhaya discussed the big meeting between the PM and his CMs which began at 3pm and continued late into the night. “What’s the broad trend? Is there a shift in the Centre’s position?,” questioned Razdan.
Upadhya said there indeed was an “interesting” shift, as the PM was talking about easing restrictions, while states saying they want restrictions to continue. He also commented how this meeting was significant as it was the fifth and the longest “marathon video conference” the PM was having.
Why news media is in crisis & How you can fix it
You are reading this because you value good, intelligent and objective journalism. We thank you for your time and your trust.
You also know that the news media is facing an unprecedented crisis. It is likely that you are also hearing of the brutal layoffs and pay-cuts hitting the industry. There are many reasons why the media’s economics is broken. But a big one is that good people are not yet paying enough for good journalism.
We have a newsroom filled with talented young reporters. We also have the country’s most robust editing and fact-checking team, finest news photographers and video professionals. We are building India’s most ambitious and energetic news platform. And have just turned three.
At ThePrint, we invest in quality journalists. We pay them fairly. As you may have noticed, we do not flinch from spending whatever it takes to make sure our reporters reach where the story is.
This comes with a sizable cost. For us to continue bringing quality journalism, we need readers like you to pay for it.
If you think we deserve your support, do join us in this endeavour to strengthen fair, free, courageous and questioning journalism. Please click on the link below. Your support will define ThePrint’s future.