New Delhi: Congress leader Rahul Gandhi on Wednesday (February 24) jumped into the sea at the Thangassery beach during his visit to Kerala's Kollam district to campaign for the upcoming assembly elections.
Gandhi spent about 10 minutes swimming alongside the fishermen before returning to the shore.
He jumped from the boat when he saw some fishermen jumping into the sea after casting their net to catch fish.
"He jumped without informing us. All of us were stunned but he was very cool. He spent around 10 minutes in the seawater. He is an expert swimmer," a party functionary was quoted as saying by PTI.
Check out the video here:
#WATCH| Kerala: Congress leader Rahul Gandhi took a dip in the sea with fishermen in Kollam (24.02.2021)
(Source: Congress office) pic.twitter.com/OovjQ4MSSM
— ANI (@ANI) February 25, 2021
Gandhi reportedly did not remove his clothes - a blue T-shirt and khaki trousers - before jumping. He changed after reaching back to shore.
He spent around two-and-a-half hours in the sea, interacting with the fishermen and enjoying fish curry cooked by them on the boat.
During his campaign, Gandhi sought to reach out to fishermen in poll-bound Kerala. He told fishermen that his party would include their needs in its election manifesto. He also expressed admiration for their work in sea braving all odds.
Gandhi reiterated his claim made in Puducherry that there was no 'dedicated' ministry for fishermen. Comparing the fishermen with farmers, he said "like farmers farm the land, you farm the sea. Farmers have their ministry in Delhi but you don't have a ministry in Delhi.
"I understand and respect what you do. I admire what you are doing. Many times, we eat the fish but we will not understand the hard work behind and how it reached our plate," the Wayanad MP said.