Vice President M Venkaiah Naidu and Prime Minister Narendra Modi will interact with Governors of various states on April 14 on the COVID-19 situation, sources said on Monday. It would be the first meeting of this kind during the pandemic and has been convened amid the Centre looking to push for stronger adherence to the pandemic protocols among citizens across the country.
The development comes days after Modi in a virtual meeting with chief ministers had called for the involvement of governors in handling the pandemic and also of personalities from different fields to push compliance with COVID-appropriate behaviour and pandemic management guidelines, including for providing vaccination to eligible people.
In the interaction on March 8, the prime minister had asked chief ministers to make the “maximum use” of the offices of governors, saying this will send a positive message and help bring people from different walks of life together.
“Under the leadership of the governor and under the guidance of the chief minister, all states should at least hold all-party meetings and firm up actionable points. This is my request that the governor and the chief ministers should together hold virtual webinars with all the elected representatives.”
“It should start with urban bodies and then rural bodies. The webinars should be with all the elected people. It will send a positive message that it should not be politicised and all of us have to do it together,” Modi had said.
Since chief ministers are preoccupied with many things, a summit or a webinar with religious leaders and others can also be chaired by governors, the prime minister had said, saying similar events can also be held with celebrities, writers, artists, players and other members of the civil society.
“I am of the view that such a movement should be run through the governor to bring together people from different walks of life, and they should be urged to follow the protocols,” he had said, expressing concern about increasing casualness among the masses in following the corona guidelines.
The meeting comes amid a surge in COVID-10 cases across the country.
India hit a new coronavirus infection record with 1,68,912 cases, taking the total tally of cases to 1,35,27,717, according to the health ministry data updated on Monday.
President Ram Nath Kovind had interacted with governors in March 2020 soon after the pandemic breakout, urging them to mobilise voluntary and religious organisations to aid the effort to contain the spread of coronavirus.
Naidu had also attended that meeting.