During a visit to Puducherry, Gandhi On Wednesday said that he considers fishermen farmers of the sea and they should too have a separate ministry.
Former Congress chief Rahul Gandhi’s demand of a separate ministry for fishermen has triggered a fresh controversy as parliament records show that he himself put a set of questions to Ministry of Fisheries, Animal Husbandry and Dairying on February 2. During a visit to Puducherry, Gandhi On Wednesday said that he considers fishermen farmers of the sea and they should too have a separate ministry.
In no time, the Bharatiya Janata Party and some of its union ministers shot back saying the ministry already exists and that he was unaware of what is already there in India. However, it soon turned into a controversy when it emerged that Gandhi himself had asked an “unstarred question no 28 to be answered on 2nd February, 2021” to the very ministry that he yesterday demanded be set up.
In the question available on the Lok Sabha website, the Wayanad MP had asked the details of programmes being implemented to augment and strengthen fisheries and aquaculture infrastructure; the details of measures being taken to build capacity and provide support to small and marginal fisherfolk; the details of proposals approved by the central advisory and monitoring committee under fisheries infrastructure and aquaculture development fund, Statewise; the details of loans advanced to eligible entities under the fisheries infrastructure and aquaculture development fund, State-wise; and the details of funds lent to self-help groups and marginal farmers, state-wise. Gandhi received the answers on the same from Pratap Chandra Sarangi, Mos for Animal Husbandry, Dairying and Fisheries.
Following this twist in what was until now believed to be a political statement, a section of policy watchers and commentators expressed concerns and suggested that if Gandhi indeed was not aware of the ministry, who asked that question in Parliament in his name.
Kanchan Gupta, former media advisor to Atal Bihari Vajpayee, said: “This is seriously not funny stuff. A Parliament Question addressed to the Ministry of Fisheries was submitted in Lok Sabha by Rahul Gandhi. It was listed as Unstarred Question No. 28 for written reply on 02 Feb 2021. On 17 Feb 2021 he claimed there is no Ministry of Fisheries.”
This is seriously not funny stuff.
A Parliament Question addressed to Ministry of Fisheries was submitted in Lok Sabha by @RahulGandhi. It was listed as Unstarred Question No. 28 for written reply on 02 Feb 2021.
On 17 Feb 2021 he claims there is no Ministry of Fisheries. 1n pic.twitter.com/lA40blrgiL
— Kanchan Gupta (@KanchanGupta) February 17, 2021
“Was Rahul Gandhi being frivolous? If yes, not funny for a MP to brazenly lie and mislead people. Was he genuinely unaware? If yes, a big question mark on Parliament Question submitted under his signature. Proxy question? Perhaps the Lok Sabha Ethics Committee would look into this?” Gupta said while sharing the letter on Twitter.
Rahul’s visit to Puducherry on Wednesday came amid heated political developments in the union territory. While the fourth successive resignation by a Congress MLA on Tuesday virtually put the ruling Congress in a minority, the President’s order replacing Lieutenant Governor Kiran Bedi added a fresh twist to the tale.