- A poster on social media urges people to salute PM from balcony on Sunday
- Prasar Bharti said people are requested to not pay any attention to it
- Calling it "mischief", PM said to take care of a poor family instead
Prime Minister Narendra Modi, referring to a poster asking for a "standing ovation" from balconies in his honour this Sunday, said on Wednesday "it seems like mischief" but urged people to show their love by taking care of a poor family during the coronavirus crisis.
An anonymous poster widely shared on social media urges citizens to stand at their balconies and "give a standing ovation and salute our Prime Minister" at 5 pm on Sunday. "This man has done so much for us and our nation," it says.
"Mr Narendra Damodardasji Modi for 5 minutes," the poster says, asking people to share the message with as many as possible.
"It has been brought to my attention that some people are running a campaign to honour Modi by standing for 5 minutes. At the outset, it seems like mischief to drag Modi into controversies," PM Modi tweeted.
"Maybe it is out of good intentions, so it is my request that if you have so much love and if you want to honour Modi, then take the responsibility of one poor family at least until the coronavirus crisis ends. There can't be a bigger honour for me," he added.
State-run broadcaster Prasar Bharati posted a Fact Check on the poster calling it questionable and suspect. "The origins of this poster which is doing rounds in some social media circuits is questionable and suspect. People are requested to not pay any attention to it. PM Modi has said prima facie this seems to be an attempt to drag his name into controversy," said the tweet.
Fact Check:— Prasar Bharati News Services (@PBNS_India) April 8, 2020
The origins of this poster which is doing rounds in some social media circuits is questionable and suspect. People are requested to not pay any attention to it. PM @narendramodi has said prima facie this seems to be an attempt to drag his name into controversy. pic.twitter.com/UIEBD4ivDI
Millions of citizens have, on previous Sundays, followed his call for clapping and clanging utensils to applaud frontline COVID-19 workers and the "9 minutes at 9 pm" lamp-lighting to show unity against the "darkness of coronavirus".
The Prime Minister will decide this week whether to extend the lockdown he had ordered on March 24 to stop the coronavirus from turning into an epidemic in the country.
This afternoon, he said at an all-party meeting via video link that lifting the lockdown, which ends on April 14, did not seem possible at the moment. "The situation in the country is akin to a 'social emergency', it has necessitated tough decisions and we must continue to remain vigilant," said the PM.