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Rahul Gandhi repeats gaffe, promises Fisheries Ministry at Centre

News Agencies | Updated on: 24 February 2021, 11:52 IST

Days after wrongly claiming that there is no dedicated ministry to deal with the issues of fishermen, Congress leader Rahul Gandhi on Wednesday repeated his promise of forming a Central ministry dedicated to fishermen of India.

The comments of the Congress MP came at an interaction with the fishing community in Kollam's Thangassery.

"Just like our farmers farm the land, you farm the sea. Farmers have a Ministry in Delhi, you don't. No one speaks for you in Delhi. The first thing I would do is to have a ministry dedicated to the fishermen of India so that your issues can be defended and protected," said the Congress leader in Kollam. He made a similar gaffe in Puducherry earlier this month.

Earlier, Rahul Gandhi had demanded the setting up of a separate ministry for fisheries at a meeting in Puducherry. However, the comments came in for immediate rebuttal by Union Minister for Fisheries, Animal Husbandry and Dairying Giriraj Singh.

Singh had also taken a swipe at the Congress leader's ignorance and attempt to "spread misinformation". "Rahul Gandhi is unaware that a separate ministry for fisheries, animal husbandry and dairying was formed by the Prime Minister in 2019, adding that Gandhi can't come out of Italy," the Minister had said.

Union Ministers Giriraj Singh and Smriti Irani also slammed the Wayanad MP and did so in Italian!

Giriraj Singh tweeted, "Caro Raul (@RahulGandhi), Non esiste un Ministero della pesca separato in Italia. Viene sotto Ministero delle Politiche Agricole e Forestali. politicheagricole.it" (There is no separate Ministry of Fisheries in Italy. It comes under the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry. http://politicheagricole.it)

The Union Textiles Minister Smirti Irani posted "Sanno solo una cosa. Diffondere bugie, paura e disinformazione." (They only know one thing. Spreading lies, fear and misinformation.)

Wednesday's repeat gaffe by Rahul Gandhi also came in for wide ridicule on social media as memes and comments flooded various platforms.

Meanwhile, Gandhi further said that one page of the election manifesto of UDF will be dedicated to fishermen and urged leaders of UDF and fishermen to have discussions in the coming 3 weeks to form the manifesto.

"5 per cent commission will be abolished if you prefer it that way," he said on an alleged issue of Kerala State Government charging a commission on selling fishermen's produce.

Earlier, the Congress MP also went into deep waters with the fishermen, took part in the morning-catch and said the travel to the Thangassery waters helped him better understand the travails of the fishermen.

About the recent controversy on the purported agreement concerning the deep-sea fishing project between the Kerala government and EMCC International Pvt. Ltd, he said, " I'm for competition but not for unfair competition."

He said the UDF will implement in Kerala a different version of NYAY in which Rs 72,000 was promised to be given to the poor each year.

"Loans and other forms of educational assistance will be given to fishermen community," he further said.

The Wayanad MP again slammed the Central Government on the issue of rising fuel prices and said that hard-earned money of people is given to few businessmen.

"The price of petrol has plummeted in the International market, but the price in our country is going up. The government is taking money out of your pockets and giving it to 2 or 3 businessmen," he said.


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First published: 24 February 2021, 11:52 IST