Fishermen upset at Modi’s failure to keep word

Published - May 30, 2014 10:29 am IST - RAMESWARAM:

Fishermen leaders have expressed disappointment with the BJP-led government’s failure to establish a separate ministry for fisheries, as promised by party leaders during electioneering.

“We had high hopes that that new government would appoint a minister for fisheries to address the problems faced by fishermen in the country in general and Tamil Nadu in particular. But we are disappointed,” the leaders said. Leaders of 11 fishermen associations, who met here on Wednesday, adopted a resolution, thanking the BJP and the Tamil Nadu and Sri Lankan governments for securing the release from Sri Lanka of 14 Tamil Nadu fishermen arrested on the charge of drug-trafficking.

The leaders said the new government had not created a ministry for fisheries as promised by External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj and BJP State leaders L. Ganesan and Pon. Radhakrishnan, who is now Union Minister.

Ms. Swaraj, who addressed a conference at Pamban near here in January, as part of the BJP election campaign, said the party had studied the problems of the fishermen in the country and would establish a separate ministry to protect their interests.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi, while addressing an election rally at Ramanathapuram on April 17, said Tamil Nadu fishermen were harassed by the Sri Lankan Navy and the Gujarat fishermen by the Pakistan Navy as the Congress-led UPA government was weak. He promised to protect the interests of the fishermen.

Meanwhile, U. Arulanandham, president of the Alliance of the Release of Innocent Fishermen, has urged the government to ask the Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh and Karnataka governments to release 84 Sri Lankan fishermen arrested in April and May on the charge of illegal fishing in Indian waters.

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