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Ex-Navy Official Trashes Modi's 'Viraat Used as Personal Taxi' Charge Against Rajiv Gandhi

Vice Admiral (Retd) I C Rao, who was the admiral superintendent of the Naval Dockyard in Mumbai in 1987, said, "Due to such claims, even the truth coming from such people (Modi) would be seen as fake information."

PTI

Updated:May 9, 2019, 7:04 PM IST
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Ex-Navy Official Trashes Modi's 'Viraat Used as Personal Taxi' Charge Against Rajiv Gandhi
File photo of Rajiv Gandhi.

A former senior Navy officer Thursday termed as 'untrue' Prime Minister Narendra Modi's claim that the Gandhi family used Navy's aircraft carrier INS Viraat as its "personal taxi" when Rajiv Gandhi was the prime minister. Modi had on Wednesday launched a scathing attack on Gandhi family claiming that INS Viraat was used as a "personal taxi" by them for 10 days while they were vacationing at an island.

"Due to such claims, even the truth coming from such people (Modi) would be seen as fake information," Vice Admiral (Retd) I C Rao said here. Rao, who was the admiral superintendent of the Naval Dockyard in Mumbai in 1987, said, "It is very bad for politicians to make such allegations. I feel that with such continued series of claims, even the true information would be seen as fake."

"Such statements are aimed at swaying the voters. I feel the voters should ignore such claims and exercise their right," Rao said.

"Rajiv Gandhi along with his family boarded the ship from Thiruvananthapuram to stay aboard for three days. Lakshadweep island is almost 220 nautical miles from land and helicopter was the only means of transportation then available, so he used the air service from Viraat, he said.

"He organised a dinner on board the ship for the ship's crew. It is very bad to spread fake information for some political gain," he said.

"I am not a fan of Rajiv Gandhi or his policies, I do not want Navy or any other establishment to be used for political gains," Rao said.

Earlier today, Vice Admiral (Retd) Vinod Pasricha had refuted Modi's claims and said the then PM and his wife Sonia Gandhi were onboard the warship for an official two-day tour.

Pasricha, who was in-charge of INS Viraat during Rajiv Gandhi’s 1984-89 tenure as PM, said all protocols were followed at the time and that no foreigners or other guests were present. “Nobody was on a holiday. Only Rahul Gandhi was with his family. No foreigner was with the PM,” he said.

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