Shah jabs Rahul Gandhi for ‘no fisheries ministry’ remark

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Puducherry: Union home minister and Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader Amit Shah on Sunday took a jibe at Congress leader Rahul Gandhi who had recently said if his party comes to power, he will create a ministry dedicated to fishermen of India.

“Some days ago, Rahul Gandhi had asked why there is no fisheries ministry. I want to know from people whether they want a leader who doesn’t know that Department of Fisheries has been in existence for two years,” Shah said in Karaikal while campaigning for Puducherry election.

Rahul Gandhi was on ‘vacation’ when the NDA set it up in 2019, he added.

The Union minister then highlighted the various initiatives taken by the Narendra Modi government at the Centre for the welfare of the fishermen community. He said that the Centre announced 20,000 crore in the budget to improve the fisheries infrastructure in the country. “Puducherry will reap the maximum benefit from this scheme,” Shah said.

Earlier this month, Rahul Gandhi had visited Puducherry where he asked why don’t the fishermen have a ministry in Delhi. “I consider you to be the farmers of the sea. If farmers of the land can have their ministry in Delhi, then why is it that the farmers of the sea don’t have a ministry in Delhi?” Gandhi had said.

At a public meeting in Puducherry, Prime Minister had expressed shock over Gandhi’s statement. Many BJP leaders and Union ministers too had also taken a swipe at Gandhi.

Union minister of fisheries, animal husbandry and dairying Giriraj Singh responded to Gandhi reminding him that the ministry had already been established.

Responding to PM Modi’s swipe, Gandhi had later tweeted, “Dear PM, Fisherfolk need an independent and dedicated ministry of fisheries, not just a department within a ministry.”

The website of the ministry of fisheries, animal husbandry and dairying says, “The Department of Fisheries is one of the two Departments under the Ministry of Fisheries, Animal Husbandry & Dairying. It came into existence with effect from 05.02.2019 through carving out Fishery Division from the erstwhile Department of Animal Husbandry, Dairying and Fisheries vide Cabinet Secretariat’s Notification F.No.1/21/21/2018-Cab dated 05.02.2019.”

Elections will be held in Puducherry along with four states – West Bengal, Assam, Tamil Nadu and Kerala. The Congress, which recently lost power, is pitted against the BJP in the union territory.

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