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Unfazed by Criticism, Modi Fires Fresh Salvo at Rajiv Gandhi, Says 'He Used Navy Warship for Holiday'

Addressing his first poll rally in Delhi ahead of the May 12 elections for seven seats, Modi alleged that the Congress insulted the warship by using it for vacations of Gandhi family.


Updated:May 9, 2019, 7:40 AM IST

New Delhi: Ignoring criticism over his "corrupt no. 1" remark at Rajiv Gandhi, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Wednesday made another sensational charge against the former PM. He accused the Gandhi family of using warship INS Viraat as its "personal taxi" when Rajiv Gandhi was the prime minister.

From academicians to Congress and other opposition leaders, Modi's "corrupt no. 1" comment drew widespread condemnation as the critics felt the prime minister lowered the dignity of his office by making such comments about a former PM, who is no longer alive.

BJP's Karnataka leader, Srinivasa Prasad, also condemned the prime minister's remarks and said that Rajiv Gandhi did not die of "corruption allegations". "LTTE planned and assassinated Rajiv Gandhi. He did not die due to corruption allegations. Nobody believes that, even I don't believe it. I have lot of respect for Modi ji, but it was not necessary for him to speak against Rajiv Gandhi," he added.

However, defying the earlier reactions, Modi continued his attack on Wednesday.


Addressing his first poll rally in Delhi ahead of the May 12 elections for seven seats, Modi alleged that the Congress insulted the warship by using it for vacations of Gandhi family.

The then government led by Gandhi and the Navy hosted his family, including in-laws, and a helicopter was also deployed in their service, Modi claimed, adding that when a family becomes supreme, the country's security is at stake.

"INS Viraat was insulted by using it as a personal taxi. This happened when Rajiv Gandhi and his family was out for a 10-day vacation. INS Viraat was deployed for securing our maritime boundary. But it was diverted to take the Gandhi family which was out for a vacation," Modi said. He also claimed that after picking up the Gandhi family, INS Viraat halted at an island for 10 days.

"Rajiv Gandhi was accompanied by his in-laws who had come from Italy. Question is whether the security of the country was not compromised by taking foreigners onboard a warship," he asked.

Aircraft carrier INS Viraat was commissioned into the Indian Navy in 1987. After nearly 30 years of service, it was decommissioned in 2016.

Reacting to Modi's remarks, former Jammu and Kashmir chief minister Omar Abdullah asked if the prime minister has discovered a time machine as he seems to believe that he he fighting the 1989 elections against Rajiv Gandhi.

(With inputs from PTI)

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| Edited by: Sumedha Kirti
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