New Delhi: The Congress will take the lead in resolving the issues faced by fishermen and fight for their rights across the country, party chief Rahul Gandhi said today. He was addressing the first national executive committee meeting of the newly-formed All India Fishermen Congress here. The national chairman of the All India Fishermen Congress, T N Prathapan, presided over the meeting.
Gandhi accused the BJP-led central government of denying the rights of fishermen to live on their own land. He said the fishermen were facing serious difficulties in fishing due to the arbitrary price hike of kerosene and diesel.
According to a Congress statement, Gandhi said the Centre was not ready to intervene in the issues of the fishermen, who were imprisoned in Pakistan and Sri Lanka.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who travelled abroad frequently, had not raised the important issues concerning the fishermen, he said, adding that instead, the PM was only taking up the issues of corporates and multi-millionaires.
The Congress president told the meeting that a lot of fishermen were imprisoned in various foreign jails after they inadvertently crossed over the international borders in the high waters.
He said when his party would come to power, it would set up an independent fisheries ministry and appoint an independent cabinet minister to it.
The Congress would bring the ordinary and poor fishermen to the frontline of the political mainstream, he said.
Gandhi also launched the website of the All India Fishermen Congress.
AICC general secretaries Mohan Prakash and PC Chacko and party leader K Raju also addressed the fishermen.