Why Would Anyone Holiday on INS Viraat? It's Not a Cruise Ship: Rahul Gandhi
On pictures of a holiday taken by the Gandhi family in Lakshadweep in the 1980s, Rahul Gandhi said that yes he had been on the Viraat with his father, but it wasn’t a holiday.
Congress president Rahul Gandhi at a rally (PTI Photo)
New Delhi: As the controversy over late Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi using Indian Naval warship INS Viraat to vacation in the Lakshadweep rages, his son and Congress chief Rahul Gandhi has termed as “crazy” the accusation that his family used the decommissioned aircraft carrier for personal use.
"Why would anyone holiday on an aircraft carrier? It's not a cruise ship!," he told the Hindustan Times.
The Congress president was responding to a charge levelled by PM Narendra Modi. At a recent election rally in New Delhi, Modi alleged that the Gandhi family used one of India's premier warships for as a “personal taxi” in the Lakshadweep archipelago.
"Rahul Gandhi says the armed forces are no one's personal forces. But the Gandhis used INS Viraat as their personal taxi when Rajiv Gandhi as Prime Minister was on a 10-day holiday. The ship was on duty but was diverted to pick up the Gandhis," Modi had said at the rally.
On pictures of a holiday taken by the Gandhi family in Lakshadweep in the 1980s, Rahul Gandhi said that yes he had been on the Viraat with his father, but it wasn’t a holiday. “I've been with my father on it when he was the PM. Of course, there are pictures. He had gone for an official visit ... and I accompanied him."
Modi’s attack on the Congress was part of his national security poll plank as he accused the Congress of compromising it for personal leisure. “INS Viraat, which was deployed on sea borders, was sent to facilitate a holiday for 10 days. Foreigners were allowed to enter the INS Viraat, was it not a compromise with national security?” he had asked.
The Congress was quick to hit back, calling Modi a "serial liar" who has made Indian Air Force jets his "own taxi".
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