Chavakkad (Kerala): Vowing to fight for rights of fishermen, Rahul Gandhi on Wednesday accused the Narendra Modi government of trying to take away their access to seas in the same way it has been taking away precious land from farmers.
In an apparent reference to the Centre deciding to extend the trawler fishing ban to 61 days from 45 days as part of measures to safeguard marine wealth, the Congress Vice President said his party would oppose any move to take away the rights of fishermen.
"The (Central) government is trying to take away (the rights of) seas from fishermen as it was taking away precious land of farmers", he said.
Gandhi was interacting with members of a fishermen colony in the coastal hamlet of Chavakkad in Thrissur district.
"Whenever the government tries to take away the rights of poor, we will fight against it", he said.
Criticising Modi, Gandhi said, "He is under the impression that the poor people do not make this country".
Gandhi had also attacked the Modi government on Tuesday at a Youth Congress rally at Kozhikode. The Congress scion will also address a convention of the Kerala Pradesh Matsya Thozhilali Congress 'Sangamam' in Chavakkad. This is part of stepping up his outreach to working class segments by taking up traditional fishermen's issues.
Fishermen in the state are on the warpath against the Centre's decision to extend trawling ban.
During budget session of Parliament, Gandhi had accused Modi government of going against the interests of fishermen in coastal states.
He had said " a ban by the 'suit-boot ki sarkar' was not allowing them to undertake unhindered fishing but that foreign trawlers were allowed to do so". The NDA Government has denied the charge.