Gadkari speaks up for Tamil fishermen

via PNS | Chennai published on January 30, 2011

BJP president Nitin Gadkari on Sunday raised the issue of killing of Tamil fishermen allegedly by the Sri Lankan Navy. Addressing the media, he termed the scheduled visit of Foreign Secretary Nirupama Rao to Sri Lanka on Monday as “eyewash”.

Gadkari emphasised, “The Congress is not serious about it (taking up the attacks on Indian fishermen).”

He announced that leader of Opposition in the Lok Sabha Sushma Swaraj would visit Vedharanyam in Nagapattinam district to meet the family of a fisherman who was killed last week. This happened within 10 days of killing of another fisherman earlier this month. Gadkari said Swaraj would also visit Sri Lanka to acquaint herself with the issue of the hardships Indian fishermen face.

The BJP is taking up Tamil issues in an effort to strengthen its presence in Tamil Nadu. At a rally on Saturday, Gadkari had promised to take up the fishermen issue in Parliament.

The killing of fishermen is bound to become the topic of a raging debate during the Assembly polls expected in three months from now.

The Opposition AIADMK has been spearheading demonstrations by fishermen, accusing the DMK Government and the UPA-led Centre of not taking enough initiative to ensure that the fishermen are safe.

Gadkari also raised the issue of the Cauvery River water dispute between Tamil Nadu and Karnataka. He held that the Supreme Court order should be respected in this regard.

Commenting on the AICC general secretary Rahul Gandhi’s demand that those whose money have been stashed away in foreign banks should be named, Gadkari said that it was “a joke” and that it only revealed the contradictions in the Congress.

“Congress Ministers have refused to reveal names of account holders in banks abroad, while Rahul Gandhi has remarked that black money holders should be brought to book. This statement is nothing but a joke,” Gadkari said.

He once again wondered what prevented the Government from revealing the names those who are stashing away money illegally in foreign banks.

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