“We are not scared of Narendra Modi and his five or six friends in suits,” Rahul Gandhi told the gathering of fisherman and members of fishing community in Kerala where he is on a 2 day tour.
Earlier, a day after Rahul Gandhi “wished” Narendra Modi government on completion of its one year, he said “At the birthday party yesterday, only people in suits and boots were celebrating”.
While addressing the fishermen community in a fishing colony of coastal town Chavakkad in Thrissur, he vowed to take up their issues concerning the safety and access to the seas. In a direct reference to the Centre’s decision on extending the trawler fishing ban to 61 days from 45 days as part of measures to safeguard marine wealth, he accused the BJP government claiming, “the government of trying to take away their access to seas in the same way it has been taking away precious land from farmers”.
Launching a direct criticism at the Prime Minister, he said “He is under the impression that the poor people do not make this country. Whenever the government tries to take away the rights of poor, we will fight against it”.
Off late Rahul Gandhi has been touring states and various regions taking up the issues concerning the poor, farmers and the middle class. Seen more active inside and outside the Parliament after his return from a 56-days ‘leave of absence’, the leader is tipped to take over as the President of Congress party in days to come. His latest outreach and walks are also seen as a bid to revive Congress party which suffered its worst defeat in 2014 general elections. The party was reduced to just 44 seats in the Lok Sabha housing 543 seats.
On his visit to the southern state, considered to be among the remaining strongholds of the Congress, Rahul Gandhi is expected to address a convention of the Kerala Pradesh Matsya Thozhilali Congress here.
The fishing community has been opposing the Centre’s decision to extend trawling ban. The issue may be a crucial one in an upcoming assembly polls in an year’s time.
Later in the day, after meeting the rubber farmers of Kerala he said “no body who is poor is happy with this government. The farmers have specific issues with the Central government and I will raise it”.