Congress President Rahul Gandhi met with the families of the missing fishermen in Tamil Nadu and Kerala on Thursday, and promised them that his party will take up their issues in the upcoming Winter Session of Parliament. He also told them that he would put pressure on the Central and State governments to ensure they got adequate relief.
Gandhi, who met the families in Chinnathurai, Kanyakumari, and Poonthura and Vizhinjam in Thiruvananthapuram, said their problems could be better addressed if there was a separate Ministry for Fisheries at the Centre, whom the distressed could turn to when in need.
"Normally, I would have been happy coming here, but I am not in the present circumstances. Whatever help we can provide to you, we will. We are in the Opposition both at the Centre and in Tamil Nadu. We will put pressure on both the governments to do the needful for the families who have lost their bread earners," he told the women, who poured out their grievances to him in Kanyakumari.
"We will put a tremendous pressure on the Central government in Parliament. We will raise your issues strongly, so you get some relief," he added.
Speaking to affected families in Poonthura, Gandhi said that everyone must learn from the tragedy to avoid such a situation in the future.
â€œWe must have a better system of warning for the fishermen who are going to the sea," he said, reported Manoramaonline.
He also apologized for not coming earlier due to the programs he had to attend related to the Gujarat polls. He paid tribute to the victims of Cyclone Ockhi and consoled the families.
â€œWhat you have lost cannot be measured in terms of value and so my words cannot replace your loss," he said in Vizhinjam. He was accompanied by the Leader of the Opposition in the Kerala assembly, Ramesh Chennithala, former Chief Minister Oomen Chandy and Congress MPs Shashi Tharoor and KC Venugopal.
(With IANS input)