Congress and JD(S) coalition candidate from Udupi-Chikmagalur constituency Pramod Madhwaraj blamed Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman and Indian Navy for the mystery behind seven missing fishermen.
Speaking to mediapersons here, on Sunday, the former minister also accused incumbent MP Shobha Karandlaje of being lackadaisical in her approach to trace the missing fishermen.
He said, “Indian Navy ship itself was involved in hit-and-run sort of case. The Navy carried out search operations only for the sake of it. It is more than 3 months since the fishermen have gone missing. The Central government, Defence Minister and MP have all failed to give justice to the families of missing fishermen. Nirmala Sitharaman should answer on the whereabouts of missing fishermen.”
He said it was a tragedy that the Navy could not differentiate between a sea bed and a sunken boat while carrying out search operation for the boat. The three Parliamentarians from the coastal areas have failed to tackle the problems of the fishermen.
Asserting that the people would surely reject Shobha, Madhwaraj said that BJP members were involved in social media campaign ‘#GoBackShobha’ and the coalition partners were determined fight against the BJP.
He said that Karandlaje was a MP for the sake of it and had completely forgotten her constituency. She rarely visited the constituency in the last five years, he added.
On RTI activist T J Abraham’s allegations, Madhwaraj retorted that Abraham was a blackmailer.
“It is the BJP that is making use of him and he levels allegations against me only during election. All the allegations are false. No bank would take risk of lending loans without collateral security.”
Madhwaraj said that he would file a defamation case against Abraham in the future.
He said he is the candidate for the coalition government and there was no need for him to be identified as JD(S) member. The only reality is that he would be contesting under JD(S) symbol.