Union Home Minister Amit Shah on Sunday took on Congress MP Rahul Gandhi over his remark last week on the need for a separate ministry for fishermen.
Mocking the Congress leader for not knowing that a fisheries department came into existence two years ago, Shah, who is in Puducherry’s Karaikal to campaign for the BJP ahead of the assembly elections, said, “A few days ago, Rahul Gandhi had asked why there is no fisheries department. 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 (since 2019).”
Shah said Prime Minister Narendra Modi has already created a separate ministry for fishermen. “Rahul bhaiya (brother)… you were on leave when it happened, so you are not aware,” he said, taking a dig at the Congress leader’s international trips that are often criticised by the BJP.
Gandhi while speaking in Solai Nagar area of Puducherry on Wednesday said that fishermen are the “farmers of the sea” and questioned “why is it that the farmers of the sea don’t have a ministry in Delhi?” His comments drew ridicule as India has a Ministry of Fisheries, Animal Husbandry and Dairying.
Slamming the Central government over the farm bills, Gandhi said, “Government passed three bills against farmers, the backbone of a nation. You must be wondering why am I talking about farmers at meeting of fishermen. I consider you to be 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?”
He further added, “Next time I come here I want to go with you in the fishing boat to see what you experience so that when I go back to Delhi, I can truly understand what farmers of Puducherry feel.”
Gandhi’s comparison soon drew flak from Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leaders, including Union ministers, who took to Twitter to mock the Congress leader over his oblivious statement regarding the ministry of fisheries.
On Thursday, PM Modi had also expressed ‘shock’ over Gandhi’s statement that there was no ‘dedicated’ fisheries ministry at the Centre, adding the NDA government had set it up in 2019 and that its budgetary allocation has substantially gone up ever since.