MANGALURU: Fishermen from Mangaluru have pinned their hopes on the upcoming Karnataka Elections and are keeping their fingers crossed anticipating that whichever party forms the government in the state will address the woes of the community.
At a time when the political temperature in the state is on all-time high and in the three coastal districts of the state, the Congress is putting up a battle to retain the seats, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) is leaving no stone unturned to make a comeback and the JD(S) is simply attempting to make inroads, it remains uncertain for whom will the fishermen community vote for.
Some fishermen were in favour of the present state government coming to power again because after the Congress government came to power in 2013 they increased the compensation given to the kin of fishermen who died to 6 lakh rupees from 2 lakh rupees.
Some fishermen also expressed their desire to vote for Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) in the upcoming elections. They think that if Prime Minister Narendra Modi comes to power in the next Lok Sabha election they may get some more relief in the diesel prices.
Fishermen said that it will be helpful for them if the government gives them the subsidy and diesel rates come down. They also said that they will vote for that government which will help them.
Most of the fishermen community in the coastal region of Karnataka are somewhere in favour of Congress as the party in its 2013 manifesto promised the present fishermen that they will give them subsidy in diesel price and had fulfilled their promise of increasing compensation for the family of the fishermen who died.
Karnataka fisheries minister Pramod Madhwaraj said that they will demand a separate ministry for fisheries from Government of India where a huge chunk of funds need to be made available for infrastructure development of fisheries.
"We promise that we will demand Government of India to have a separate ministry for fisheries where huge chunk of funds will be made available for infrastructure development of fisheries," Madhwaraj told ANI.
Of the 19 seats in coastal Karnataka, the Congress has 13, the BJP 3 and 3 seats have been won by Independents (one of who is now with the Congress).
Karnataka will go to polls on May 12 to elect representatives to the 224-member state assembly. The results will be out on May 15.