Visakhapatnam, Dec 8 (ANI): Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) President Nitin Gadkari on Wednesday criticized the Congress-led Government at the Centre for ignoring the plight of the fishermen saying that there was an urgent need to take some concrete measures to improve their lot.
Addressing the national convention on fishermen of East Coast in Visakhapatnam, Gadkari said: "Even after 63 years of independence, the plight of fishermen remained abysmal all because of the wrong policies of the Congress and there was an urgent need to take some concrete measures to improve their lot."
"Visakhapatnam Charter to be drafted at the meet would be implemented in BJP-ruled states and automatically will become a national policy once the party comes into power at Centre," he added.
He accused the policies of the government as 'erroneous' saying that the average income of the poor man in India remained Rs 20 a day and also questioned Congress President Sonia Gandhi and the Prime Minister Dr.Manmohan Singh if that was enough for someone to survive.
Gadkari, who was greeted with equal zeal and enthusiasm by party workers and participants, went around the exhibition of nets, fishing equipment and a variety of fish set up by the local fisher folk at the VUDA Children's theatre.
He was also presented with fishermen cap, garlands and shawls.
As many as 600 delegates have been actively taking part in the national convention throwing up a number of ideas and are on the verge of drawing up a charter to be submitted to the government.
Gadkari will be giving the finishing touches to the charter in the meet.
The fishermen have been alleging that they were meted out a raw deal by the successive governments, which failed to evolve a national policy on fisheries.
They also allege that the government is curtailing their movements on the sea by giving preference foreign units. They demand that some concrete steps be taken to arrest the pollution of sea by the industrial effluents.
The convention, among other things, will deliberate on objectionable points in Coastal Regulation Zone draft notification, livelihood thread due to acquisition of land for corporates and establishment of industries all along the coast, lack of infrastructure like cold storage, drying yards and jetties. By Basi Reddy (ANI)