Jaya charges BJP with double standards on fishermen issue

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Tuticorin(TN), Sept 14: Charging BJP with adopting 'double-standards' on the fishermen issue, AIADMK supremo and Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Jayalalithaa on Sunday said voting for the national party will not benefit the people of her state. Campaigning for her party's Tuticorin Mayor candidate for the September 18 bypolls here, Jayalalithaa said besides her party, a 'national party' (BJP) and some independents alone were in the fray.

She said voting for the national party in the civic polls will be of no use since they have different leadership at the Central and state levels. So are the stands on issues, she said, campaigning for AIADMK candidate APR Anthony Gracy. Tuticorin has a large fishermen population, Jayalalithaa said while raising the issue of repeated arrests and attacks on fishermen from the state by Sri Lankan navy pointing out that she has been pressing Prime Minister Narendra Modi for ensuring a lasting solution on the matter.

Arrested fishermen were being released after she takes up the matter with Modi through letters even as she had raised the issue in person with him, the Chief Minister said.

"What is the stand of the state unit of the BJP? The BJP (members) in Tamil Nadu are saying that there should be a permanent solution to the matter. But another leader of the same party is going against the Tamil Nadu fishermen," she said in an apparent reference to Subramanian Swamy.

Swamy had recently earned the ire of fishermen and political parties in the state following his reported remarks that he had advised Sri Lanka against the release of boats of Indian fishermen even if they were set free. Jayalalithaa had also taken exception to this with Modi, hoping it was not the stand of Centre or BJP.

Referring to the remarks made by Swamy on the issue of release of boats, she said his party's state unit had not even 'condemned' it while "Centre was keeping mum."

"Voting for such a party with double standards will not be of any use for the people of Tamil Nadu. Therefore, by voting for BJP you will not get any benefit," Jayalalithaa said.

AIADMK was the only party committed to welfare of the poor, voicing its concerns on matters like fishermen issue, inter-state water disputes and inflation, she said, recalling her government had approached Supreme Court on many issues.

Her government was implementing various price-mitigation schemes against the backdrop of Centre's 'wrong economic policies,' including low-cost 'Amma Canteens', among others. Load shedding had been done away with since June 1 and out of the 105 days since then, 96 days were free of any power cuts, she said.

PTI

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