With the parliamentary elections in India reaching a climax, accusations and counter-accusations are the order of the day. This time, Prime Minister Narendra Modi has once directed his tirade against former PM Rajiv Gandhi, accusing him of using the country’s aircraft carrier for his own personal use while holidaying.
All of it harks back to the late eighties – 1988 to be precise when the Gandhi family made it to the Bangaram islands in the Lakshadweep archipelago for a holiday. They reached the spot riding the aircraft carrier INS Virat, which also remained stationed at the high seas near the island for 10 days till the PM was on vacation.
PM Modi said the ship wasn’t available for its routine deployment till the time it was in personal service of the Gandhis. He also accused the Gandhi family of using naval officers for their personal security during the time. PM Modi was speaking at an election rally when he made the accusation. He also tweeted the same and attached a link to a magazine article as proof.
The Congress refuted such allegations and said the ship was there to protect the former Prime Minister rather than being used as a means of conveyance. A few former Naval officers who were posted on the ship at the time also dismissed the allegation claiming that all protocols were followed till the ship was hosting the Gandhis, and that no foreigners were onboard then.
However, one naval officer did claim PM Modi’s allegations to be true and said he has been witness to the manner the former PC and his family misused the ship and its resources for their personal pleasure.