Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday attacked the Congress, especially its leader Rahul Gandhi over his remarks on creating a fisheries ministry at the Centre.
“I was shocked,” PM Modi said on Rahul Gandhi’s fisheries ministry remark. “Current National Democratic Alliance (NDA) government made the ministry in 2019 and the budget allocated for fisheries has grown more than 80% in two years,” he said.
Last Wednesday, while interacting with fishermen in Puducherry, Gandhi had called them ‘farmers of sea,’ and, comparing them with the farmers protesting against the three farm laws, wondered why there was a ministry for farmers, but not for fishermen. Following his remark, several Union ministers and leaders of PM Modi’s Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) sought to remind the former Congress president that the ministry had already been established by PM Modi in the beginning of his second term, in May 2019.
Among those who responded to Gandhi were the current fisheries minister Giriraj Singh, who is also the inaugural holder of the office, as well as Textiles minister Smriti Irani, who had defeated him in his home constituency of Amethi in the 2019 general elections. The two ministers responded to the Congress leader in Italian. Nevertheless, Gandhi reiterated his remark, this time in Kerala, on Wednesday.
“A few days ago, the entire nation saw a video of a helpless woman complaining about Puducherry government and the CM neglecting the people during cyclone and floods. Instead of telling the truth to the nation, the former CM gave a wrong translation of the woman’s words.
On the wrong Tamil translation by Narayanasamy, the Prime Minister said, “He lied to the people and the leader of their own party. How can they serve the people?” Last Thursday, Narayanasamy, while acting as a translator to Gandhi, wrongly translated a complain made by a fisherwoman in Tamil.
“He (then-CM Narayanasamy) is here. Did he visit us during Cyclone?” the fisherwoman asked in her native tongue. Translating for Gandhi in English,the now-former Puducherry CM said that the woman was saying that Narayanasamy
visited the area during the Nivar Cyclone and provided relief to people. “This is what she is saying,” the Congress leader told Gandhi.
The Prime Minister on Thursday inaugurated several completed projects in Puducherry and also laid the foundation stones for others. During his address in the Union Territory PM Modi also hit out at the Congress party.
He said that there is joy in Puducherry for two reasons – the inauguration of projects and freedom from the ‘misgovernance’ of Congress rule under CM V Narayanasamy.
“In 2016, the people of Puducherry voted for Congress with great hope and thought that they will solve their problems. But five years later, people here are disappointed and not happy at all. They did not get a people’s government, but a government which was serving the high command in Delhi.” PM Modi stated.
Appealing people to vote for the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) in the upcoming polls, PM Modi said that Puducherry deserves a government whose high command is the people of the UT but not a small group of Congress leaders sitting in Delhi.
“The high command Congress government in Puducherry made it a point to damage every sector of governance. Traditional mills closed. Local industry was troubled. Congress doesn’t believe in working for the people,” PM Modi said.
“We are working towards a system where medical and technical education would be given in local languages. Many students will gain from this. Puducherry is a beautiful confluence of many cultures. This is a wonderful place to become a hub of spiritual tourism,” PM Modi added.
During his rally, the Prime Minister also pushed for ‘Atmanirbhar Bharat’ and but said that India’s dream of becoming a self-reliant country will not be completed without a strong blue economy.
He also said that his government is working towards a system where medical and technical education would be given education in local languages.
“The NDA government reforms in various sectors will help the IT, Pharma, textile and several other sectors. The government is encouraging start-ups under the Start-up India programme. Compliance burdens are down,” PM Modi said.
Meanwhile, PM Modi’s speech on Thursday also had a mention of how the central government wants to turn Puducherry into ‘B.E.S.T,’ i.e. business hub, education hub, spirituality hub and tourism hub.
Puducherry is likely to go to polls in April-May, along with the states of Tamil Nadu, Kerala, West Bengal and Assam.