Published On: Sat, Apr 11th, 2020

Kejriwal jumps gun on shutdown extension, cancels presser

New Delhi: Even as Prime Minister Narendra Modi is considering the stand of various Chief Ministers to extend the nationwide shutdown, Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on Saturday jumped the gun to tweet that the PM had decided to extend it beyond April 14.

Efforts to reach out to Kejriwal’s aides on why he jumped the gun proved futile

Kejriwal tweeted: “PM has taken the correct decision to extend the lockdown. Today, India’s position is better than many developed countries because we started the lockdown early. If it is stopped now, all gains would be lost. To consolidate, it is important to extend it.”

His tweet came even when there’s no official word from the Centre on the extension.

The tweet followed a video conference meeting of Modi with Chief Ministers of various states, during which the Prime Minister listened to the suggestions on the way forward to deal with COVID-19 outbreak. While most CMs maintained that they have requested the PM to extend the 21-day shutdown, Kejriwal claimed the decision has been taken.

Clearly caught on the wrong foot, Kejriwal cancelled his press conference scheduled at 5.30 pm. A two-line statement sent to reporters merely said: “The press conference scheduled for 5.30 pm today has been cancelled. Regret the inconvenience caused.”

Efforts to reach out to Kejriwal’s aides on why he jumped the gun proved futile.

The Chief Ministers’ video conference, third of its kind in less than two weeks convened by Modi, saw a growing unanimity that the ongoing shutdown should continue. Most Chief ministers “strongly advocated” for an extension of the ongoing shutdown slated to end on April 14. However, there has not been any final decision in this regard.

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