After saying that former prime minister Rajiv Gandhi died as corrupt number 1, prime minister Narendra Modi stepped up his attack on the Congress party referring to corruption and malpractices indulged by former Congress governments.
Addressing a massive rally organised at Ramlila Maidan in Delhi, PM Modi made a shocking revelation that when Rajiv Gandhi was prime minister of India, an aircraft carrier of Indian Navy was used for a vacation of the Gandhi family.
Launching a scathing attack on the Congress party, Modi said, nowadays Congress keeps attacking me saying the army is not a personal property of anyone. The PM said, ‘who had been treating the defenders of the nation as personal property, I will tell the nation from Delhi. Friends, have you ever heard that someone went on a vacation with family in a naval carrier? Don’t be shocked by this question, this has happened, and happened in our own country.’
Narrating about the incident, Modi said, ‘this namdar family of Congress party had used the pride of nation, India’s aircraft carrier INS Viraat as their own personal taxi. They have insulted the defence forces. This incident is from that time when Rajiv Gandhi was the prime minister of the country, and went for a vacation of ten days. INS Viraat was deployed for protection of maritime borders of the country, but that was sent for transporting the Gandhi family who were going for holidaying. After that, their entire group was carried to an island by INS Viraat, where it stayed for ten days. The people holidaying with Rajiv Gandhi included his in-laws. The question is, by taking foreigners on a warship of the country, were they playing with the security of the country or not’.
‘Because it was Rajiv Gandhi, and his in-laws who came from Italy, they got all the relaxations?’ Modi asked. He added, ‘the tale of vacation of this namdar family does not end here. The island where they went, there was no transport facility. Therefore, government employees and navy soldiers did the job of organising all the facilities for the vacation. A special helicopter of the army was deployed their service 24×7, the entire administration was looking after the arrangement of entertainment of these people.’
Prime minister Narendra Modi commented, ‘when a family becomes the topmost priority, the security of the nation is placed on the bet. When a family becomes the biggest, the security of the general public is nowhere to be seen.
PM Modi was referring to the Gandhi family’s vacation in 1987. The holidaying group included Rajiv Gandhi, Sonia Gandhi, Rahul Gandhi, Priyanka Gandhi, Sonia Gandhi’s mother, her brother and a maternal uncle. Also present were then MP Amitabh Bachchan, his wife Jaya Bachchan and their three children, daughter of Amitabh’s brother Ajitabh, and former minister Arun Singh’s brother Bijendra Singh’s wife and daughter. The location for the vacation was Bangaram, a small uninhabited island in Lakshadweep archipelago. INS Viraat, the lone carrier of Indian navy at that time, was used to transport the Gandhi family and their companions, which moved in the Arabian sea for 10 days for this vacation. An aircraft carrier does not move alone in the sea, a carrier is the nerve centre of a carrier battle group and it is always surrounded by several warships. Even a submarine was also present during the trip. This means a huge expenditure.
As the island was uninhabited, everything needed for the guests was needed to be transported from other places. The Lakshadweep administration looked after the logistics of the 10 day vacation, and their helicopter was pressed into service for this purpose.