Thrissur: Congress president Rahul Gandhi continued his onslaught on Prime Minister Narendra Modi during his interaction with the representative from across the country at the National Fishermen's Parliament held at Thriprayar Sports and Games Association Indoor (TSGA) Stadium on Thursday.
Continuing the aggressive streak from the interaction with the female students with at Stella Maris College in Chennai on Wednesday, Mr Gandhi told the representatives in the parliament that unlike Mr Modi, he did not make false promises. He assured them action on issues related to the alleged torture of fishermen from Tamil Nadu at the hands of Sri Lankan Navy, Coastal Regulation Zone (CRZ), subsidy on kerosene, the pollution caused by oil rigs, among other issues if the UPA came to power.
The first question in the parliament was raised by National Secretary of the Fishermen Congress Kiran Kumar from Udupi about a boat with seven fishermen which set out from the Udupi port and has went missing for the past 89 days. He said it has been more than three months since the boat named Suvarna Thribuja has gone missing but the Navy and the Coast Guard were not able to trace it. The matter was brought before Mr Modi a month ago, he said.
Mr Gandhi replied by stating that businessmen like Nirav Modi, Vijay Mallya and Mehul Choksi could get access to Mr Modi easily but the poor fishermen could not.
"I will take up the matter with the PM and if the UPA comes to power at the centre after the upcoming general elections, a separate ministry for fishermen will be put in place to promptly deal with all such issues of the fishing community," he said.
The Congress president said the UPA would also bring in place a minimum salary scheme in the country. "We will fix a figure as minimum salary and the government will pay those earning a monthly income less than that figure to ensure that they get that fixed minimum income," he said.
Mr Gandhi said other than giving 33 per cent reservation for women in both the house of parliament and at state assemblies, the UPA would give women reservation in jobs as well.
He alleged there were 15 millionaires who got a waiver of Rs 3.5 lakh crores in terms of their payments during the Modi regime and they were doing marketing for the Modi government. "Mr Modi needs to come out in the open on how he was able to spend these many crores of rupees for marketing and campaigning by revealing the sources of funds," Mr Gandhi said.
Rekha Karthikeyan of Chettuva who became the first women in the country to obtain deep-sea fishing licence was honoured by Mr Gandhi by presenting her an oar at the meeting.
National Fishermen Congress chairman and DCC president T.N. Prathapan, KPCC president Mullappally Ramachandran, AICC general secretaries Oommen Chandi and Mukul Wasnik, former KPCC president V.M. Sudheeran, MPs K.C. Venugopal, K.V. Thomas and MLAs V.D. Satheesan and Anil Akkara were present....