Launching a blistering attack on Congress President Sonia Gandhi for the first time during the current electioneering, Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Jayalalithaa on Sunday charged her with shedding crocodile tears for Tamil Nadu fishermen on poll eve.
“Sonia Gandhi is shedding crocodile tears for fishermen during elections after doing everything against Tamil fishermen and in favour of the Sri Lankan government,” Jayalalithaa said at an election rally here.
Stating that the Congress chief had accused her regime of not showing concern over the fishermen issue and that Centre was behind the bilateral talks between Sri Lanka and India on the matter, she said there was not an iota of truth in it.
Gandhi had at her recent rally in Kanyakumari slammed the Jayalalithaa government, virtually charging it with adopting a lethargic approach to the initiative taken by UPA on fishermen level talks to end the frequent attacks on the state’s fishermen.
Slamming Gandhi for her claim that the Congress regime had arranged the talks on the issue of fishermen between India and Lanka, she called it a “fraud” and claimed that it was her government which had accomplished release of all TN fishermen before the commencement of talks.
“Fishermen will not buy the argument that the AIADMK government had not shown concern over the issue,” she said.
Asking if any step was taken to stop training to Lankan military personnel whose “wont was to harass” Tamil fishermen, she listed several fishermen-related issues, including subsidy for boats, to target the Congress-led UPA.
“Sonia Gandhi is now showering concern on fishermen during polls for votes…has she ever spoken a word about this (fishermen issue) anywhere including Parliament before?, Jayalalithaa asked.
Referring to the Centre’s stand in the Supreme Court on the Katchatheevu case instituted by her that the islet was not part of India, she asked if this was the concern Congress had for the fishermen. “Is this not against the fishermen?”
Demanding to know if the Congress regime had taken measures to find a permanent solution to the problems of the state’s fishermen, she wanted Gandhi to explain as to why the Centre had not sent details on the outcome of bilateral fishermen level talks held in 2011 despite the state’s request.