Thiruvananthapuram: Congress President-elect Rahul Gandhi visited the fishing villages of Poonthura and Vizhinjam in Kerala which were adversely affected by Cyclone Ockhi. During the course of his Kerala visit, he also went to Thaikkad and Palayam in Kerala and Chinnathurai in Tamil Nadu. Rahul Gandhi was earlier scheduled to visit the cyclone affected areas on 1st December. But after met officials' forecast of deteriorating weather condition, it was called off.
Here are the highlights of Rahul Gandhi's Kerala visit:
Congress President-elect Rahul Gandhi also attended the inaugural function of the birth centenary celebration of Late Shri Baby John with senior Kerala leaders.
Shashi Tharoor tweeted about his visit to Kerala's cyclone hit areas in Kerala with Rahul Gandhi. He wrote, "Very good visit by Rahul Gandhi to two coastal villages in Thiruvananthapuram. People were touched by his directness & evident empathy during deeply moving conversations with bereaved families."
Families of those affected by Cyclone Ockhi attended the gathering addressed by Rahul Gandhi in Poonthura, Kerala.
Assuring the farmers who were adversely affected by Cyclone Ockhi, Rahul Gandhi says, "There has been tremendous loss to farmers as well. We will try to help you in whatever way we can."
"We will put pressure in the Parliament and the Tamil Nadu State Assembly. It is important that you have a ministry to look after your issues. We will raise the issue very strongly in the parliament," says Rahul Gandhi.
Rahul Gandhi says, "It is my intention to try and help you in whichever way possible. Congress is not in power in Tamil Nadu and the country. But we are in the opposition. The opposition has an important role to play."
Meeting the families of cyclone-hit fishermen in Kerala, Rahul Gandhi says, "Every now and then fishermen are dying. I met the family members and spoke to quite a lot of people. I would have liked to say I'm happy to come here. I'm actually sad to come here."
"I should have come here before... Even though I was not physically present when the tragedy struck, I was here in spirit," said Rahul Gandhi to the villagers in Kerala, reported news agency IANS.
Congress President-elect at a meeting in Poonthura with fishermen and their families who were affected by Cyclone Ockhi
Likening the condition of fishermen to that of farmers Rahul Gandhi said, "Both are facing very difficult times. The farmers have a ministry that looks after their interests and I think it is time that we create a ministry for fishermen that looks after their interests and ensures they are protected."
Speaking at Ponthura, Rahul Gandhi apologised fir not being able to visit earlier due to the Gujarat election campaigns. Offering his condolences he said, "We cannot replace what you have lost but we will try and make it as comfortable as possible in the future. We must build a better system of warning before our fishermen go out to the seas."
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