Ahmedabad: With Assembly elections in Gujarat round the corner, ruling BJP and opposition Congress have locked horns over the issues surrounding fishermen by holding each other responsible for the plight of the community.
"BJP government has ignored every section of society in the state including fishermen, who were forced to suffer big financial losses because of the government policies," state unit Congress president Arjun Modhvadia said while flagging off the 11-day-long `save coastal area` rally from Porbandar.
While Congress had made fishermen available diesel at cheaper rate, by waiving VAT and Sales Tax, the Modi government has imposed a 25 per cent tax on the commodity, he said.
"BJP government has discontinued the subsidies for fishing community and now each boatman is incurring loss of Rs. 2.5 to 3 lakh," Modhvadia said.
Rebutting the charge, state BJP spokesperson IK Jadeja said it was Congress that was "spreading lies" and was solely responsible for making the coast "unsafe".
"During Congress` rule, Gujarat`s coastal area was being considered as the safest entry point for terrorists and smugglers and BJP government made it safe," he said.
Jadeja said BJP government had launched many schemes aimed at the welfare of fishermen.