Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi on Monday accused the Narendra Modi government of going against the interests of fishermen, saying a ban by the ‘suit-boot ki sarkar’ was not allowing them to do fishing but foreign trawlers were allowed to do.
This charge, however, has been denied by the government. Shipping Minister Nitin Gadkari said there was no ban on fishing and no foreign trawlers were allowed by the government. "The allegation is wrong. The government has taken no such decision [to ban fishing]. No foreign trawlers have come in. There is no such incident and no complaint has come before the Ministry,” he told reporters.
Mr. Gandhi said the government must withdraw this ban and let fishermen do their job. He charged the government with harming the interests of the weak in society.
He said, “There is a very big issue in the coastal States. As usual, our government is going against the interests of farmers, fishermen, labourers. 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 all the coastal states. The government should withdraw this ban and let our fishermen do their work.
“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.”
Earlier the ‘suit-boot ki sarkar’ was against farmers and labourers and now they are after fishermen, Mr. Gandhi told reporters outside Parliament.
“They are extracting money from the weak...and are trying to oppress them,” he alleged.