JD(S)-Congress candidate Pramod Madhwaraj accused Defense Minister Nirmala Sitharaman and sitting MP from Udupi-Chikmagalur Shobha Karandlaje of hiding facts and failing to trace the missing fishermen.
Addressing the Block-level Congress and JD(S) workers' meet here, Pramod said, "Fishermen went missing three months ago. There is no news about their whereabouts. Both defence minister and MP had failed miserably in their efforts to trace them. It is suspected that the fishing boat was sunk by the Indian Navy. Though guilty of murdering the fishermen, the Navy still carried out a search operation for the sake of it."
He said Nirmala Sitharaman did not respond to the grievances of the families of missing fishermen.
However, she only spoke about him lacking experience and did not bother to share details about the fishing boat, Suvarna Thribhuja.
Pramod, further, accused Udupi MLA Raghupathi Bhat of failing to resolve the sand issue. Bhat had promised to solve sand issues within a month of coming to power during the Assembly election.
"When I was the MLA, I ensured that strict action was initiated against those who transported sand illegally."
The former minister said that Shobha Karandlaje was under an illusion of winning the polls in the name of Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
Voters should understand that it is not a fight between Pramod and Modi in Udupi-Chikmagalur constituency. But a direct contest between Shobha and Pramod, he added.
"During the Congress tenure, I had carried out good number of works in Udupi. However, I lost due to false propaganda. This time JD(S) and Congress workers are working together to ensure my victory in the hustings."