Targetting Rahul Gandhi over his claim that there is no dedicated Ministry of Fisheries in India, Union Home Minister Amit Shah on Sunday said that the Congress leader was on 'vacation' when the Modi government had set it up in 2019.
"Some days ago, Rahul Gandhi had asked why there is no fisheries department. I want to know from people whether they want to elect a leader who, despite being a four-time MP, does not know that a Department of Fisheries has been in existence for 2 years in the country," said Shah, while addressing a rally in Puducherry's Karaikal, ahead of elections.
The Union minister highlighted various initiatives taken by the Centre for the welfare of the fishermen community including the allocation of ₹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 said if his party comes to power, he will create a ministry dedicated to the fishermen of India. “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 asked.
At a public meeting in the Union Territory, Prime Minister Narendra Modi had expressed shock over Rahul Gandhi's statement. Many BJP leaders and Union ministers also took jibes at him. Responding to the criticism the Wayanad MP stated that the fisherfolk needed an 'independent and dedicated ministry of fisheries, not just a department within a ministry.'
Meanwhile, Amit Shah did not even spare the false Tamil translation by former Puducherry Chief Minister V Narayanasamy, who resigned from his post last week, after losing a trust vote. "Congress has made such a person chief minister who lies in front of his supreme leader, even in translation," said Shah.
Hitting back at the allegations that the BJP toppled the Congress government in Puducherry, Shah said, the Grand Old Party said the reason behind the government's collapse was 'nepotism and dynasticism.'
"The Congress is alleging that the BJP toppled their government here, but truth is that the party is disintegrating not only in Puducherry but across the country due to nepotism and dynasticism," the Home Minister said.
He further expressed confidence that a BJP-led NDA government would be elected in the Union Territory in the April 6 elections. "About 75% of Puducherry youth unemployed, if you vote NDA government, we will reduce the unemployment rate to less than 40%, Shah promised.
The UT will go to polls under the President's Rule, imposed after the V Narayanasamy government fell on February 22 after being reduced to a minority following a spate of resignations of MLAs of the Congress and its ally DMK in the last two months.
The 30 assembly constituencies spread across the union territory's four regions -- Puducherry, Karaikal, Mahe, and Yanam -- would go for polls in a single phase with 10,02,414 voters eligible to cast their ballots.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Congress leader Rahul Gandhi have already visited the union territory and launched their respective parties' campaign since last week.