After taking up the cause of farmers and home buyers, Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi Monday took up the cause of fishermen and claimed that an extended period of fishing ban was affecting their livelihood in coastal areas.
He alleged that the NDA government was going against the interests of fishermen by extending the ban on fishing while allowing foreign trawlers to continue fishing activities. The government has rejected the charge, saying it has not imposed any such ban.
Congress MP K C Venugopal tried to raise the issue in Lok Sabha on Monday, while Rahul told media that the ban was a major issue in coastal states.
“As usual, government is going against the interests of farmers and fishermen. Now, they have extended the fishing ban and they are allowing foreign trawlers to come in at the expense of our fishermen. This is affecting fishermen in coastal states. The government should roll back this ban and let our fishermen do their work,” he said.
“The suit-boot ki sarkar is not only harming farmers, it is harming every single person who is weak in this country. Every single person who works for his livelihood —fishermen, farmers, labourers —they are all being damaged by this government,” Rahul said, adding, “They (the government) are extracting money from the weak…and are trying to oppress them”.
Venugopal said he had given notice for an adjournment motion on the matter. The government, he claimed, has extended the fishing ban period during monsoon from 47 to 61 days, which affects those who earn their livelihood by fishing.