KOLLAM: Congress leader Rahul Gandhi, who has been touring Kerala for the last two days, interacted with the fishermen at Thangassery, Kollam on Wednesday. The hour-long discussion was held at a venue set up at the Thangassery bus terminal. Rahul Gandhi interacted with 1000 selected fishermen from Kollam and Alappuzha.
The Congress leader ventured into the sea for about two hours with the fisherfolks on a boat. He left the Vaadi shore at 5 am and after returning, held an interactive session with them. Rahul Gandhi talked against the national fisheries policy and called for immediate action to address the current plight of the traditional fishermen.
Before beginning the talks, Rahul shared on stage his early morning experience with the sons of the sea. "The moment the boat left the shore till it returned, the fishermen were facing difficulties. Taking the entire risk, they fight against the sea. They toil hard and someone else gets away with the profit of their hard work. We tried to fish but unfortunately got only one fish," said Rahul, adding that what is the government trying to sell when the resources of the sea are already depleted.
Rahul said he will fight to get a dedicated ministry in the Centre for Fisheries. "Will strive to get an exclusive ministry for fisheries to resolve their issues. The petrol price is dropping internationally. But in India, the price is hiking and this money which is taken from your pocket is being handed over to huge industrialists. I'll ensure this money comes to your pocket," said the MP, who represents the Wayanad Lok Sabha constituency in the state.
The Congress leader has assured to share their issues with the local leaders in the coming days as we are planning to release a dedicated fishermen manifesto. "I assure you that all those problems raised by you included in our manifesto will be resolved if UDF comes into power," said Rahul. The party is also planning to update the NYAY scheme launched in the last Lok Sabha election and include it in LDF's manifesto. The scheme will aim to provide money to poor families in Kerala, he added.