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Congress chief Rahul Gandhi on Thursday vowed to set up a separate ministry for fishermen if the Congress is voted to power in the Lok Sabha elections, saying unlike Prime Minister Narendra Modi he did not make "fake promises". He was addressing the National Fishermen Parliament organised by All India Fishermen Congress in Thriprayar.
"My commitment to you is that the moment we win the 2019 elections, all the fishermen of the country will get their own dedicated ministry in Delhi," Mr Gandhi said.
Assuring the fishermen that he would fulfil the promise if the Congress wins, the Congress chief said:
"I am not like Narendra Modi. I don't make fake promises. Please look at my speeches. When I say something, I only say it because I have decided to do it."
Earlier on Wednesday, a massive newsbreak by OpIndia and Republic TV reported how Congress President Rahul Gandhi had alleged links with arms lobbyist Sanjay Bhandari - a close aide of Robert Vadra - through a series of land deals done through one HL Pahwa. Moreover, the Congress party had admitted to the deal, defending its legitimacy while choosing to remaining silent on the connection to Bhandari.
The Bharatiya Janata Party had raked up this matter on Wednesday and demanded Rahul Gandhi to explain his relation with Bhandari. Under pressure, Congress has released an explanation which has been accessed by Republic TV, mentioning Rahul Gandhi had initially bought land from HL Pahwa, but later transferred it to his sister, who in turn donated it to a non-profit organisation.
In its effort to rebut the report, the Congress party has claimed that its president had purchased 6.456 acre of land from for Rs 26.47 lakh, which was all paid through cheque in March 2008.
Four years later, ie on July 2012, the Congress president had 'gifted' the land to his sister Priyanka Gandhi Vadra, who had in turn in August 2014 gifted the land to a not for profit spiritual organisation, the party claims.
The Congress concluded its defence of Rahul Gandhi by stating that the party chief did not, at any point, have any connection with any individual whatsoever during the land deal.
(With inputs from PTI)