Tuesday, June 15, 2021
Home News Reports As Rahul Gandhi mouths off platitudes over Air India One, here is a throwback...

As Rahul Gandhi mouths off platitudes over Air India One, here is a throwback to the time his father used INS Viraat as a personal yacht

India's former Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi had reportedly used India's lone aircraft carrier INS Viraat in 1987 for his family and companions' vactionioning in Lakshadweep Island

After being mocked and incessantly trolled for using a cushioned seat on a tractor, the former Congress President Rahul Gandhi took aim at the Prime Minister over two custom-made aeroplanes that the govt of India has acquired for VVIP travel. Taking a swipe at PM Modi, Gandhi said that the Prime Minister’s ‘Air India One’ did not just have a cushion but a whole lot of luxury beds for his comfort and accused him of “wasting” thousands of crores of rupees on the plane just because “his friend Donald Trump has one.”

Rahul Gandhi attacked Modi over the planes ignoring the fact that the planes were ordered by the UPA govt, and the current govt merely completed the process. Gandhi’s riposte came after the government attacked the Wayanad MP for sitting on a cushioned seat on a tractor while participating in his “Kheti Bachao Yatra” in Punjab against the recently passed Farm Bills. Questioning the wisdom of spending such a huge amount of money when “China at our borders” and the government is stockpiling ammunition, ration, equipment and other necessary items along the Indo-China border, Gandhi stated that PM Modi wanted the luxurious plane because “his friend Donald Trump has one”.

Acquisition of aircraft was initiated during the UPA regime

However, soon after Rahul Gandhi took a dig at PM Modi for procuring the new custom-made Boeing aeroplanes, the BJP government slammed the Gandhi scion, saying that the process of procurement of the VIP aircraft had begun around a decade ago when the UPA government was in power under the leadership of Rahul Gandhi’s mother, Sonia Gandhi. Moreover, the planes belong to the Indian Air Force and not the Prime Minister.

The process of acquisition of the two new aircraft started in 2011 under the UPA-II regime when upon the direction of Group of Ministers (GOM), a meeting of Committee of Secretaries (CoS) was organised in which it was determined that an Inter-Ministerial Group (IMG) would evaluate the available options for long term arrangement of VVIP aircraft. The IMG met about 10 times and submitted two recommendations in 2012—convert an existing B777 ER or use one of the new ones that were ordered by Air India but yet to be delivered.

The govt finally decided to use two planes from the planes ordered for Air India by the UPA govt. It may be the UPA govt had ordered much more aircraft than what was needed by Air India, causing it the financial mess the national carrier is currently it. Two planes from these excess planes, from the planes which were yet to be delivered by Boeing, were repurposed as VVIP aircraft and necessary modification and customisation for the same were ordered by the government.

Air India had ordered for 68 aircraft from Boeing in 2005, 15 of which were B777-300 ER aircraft. In 2017, by when the carrier had taken delivery of 12 777s, it was decided that two aircraft from the remaining three will be used as Air India One for VVIP travel after necessary customisation. Therefore, the govt had actually bought the planes from Air India, which had already bought it from Boeing. Even if those aircraft were not customised VVIP jets, Air India still would have to pay for the cost of the planes as standard commercial jets.

But one can expect Rahul Gandhi to remain ignorant of such details to have made an attack against the Prime Minister on acquiring aircraft whose acquisition was initiated by the Congress-led coalition at the centre. What’s more? It’s a bit rich coming from someone whose father, Rajiv Gandhi, had used INS Viraat as his personal taxi.

Rajiv Gandhi used INS Viraat as his personal taxi

In an exclusive story covered by India Today in 1988, the author alleged that the former prime minister of India and Rahul Gandhi’s father, Rajiv Gandhi, used India’s aircraft carrier INS Viraat as his own personal yacht. The incident is from the time when Rajiv Gandhi was the Prime Minister of the country and had gone on vacations to Lakshadweep Islands with his family members and friends.

This incident was raked up by PM Modi in the run-up to the 2019 General Elections, where he alleged that the Gandhi Family used India’s aircraft carrier INS Viraat as their personal boat and compromised India’s national security because their entertainment was of higher priority than the nation’s security.

INS Viraat was deployed for protection of maritime borders of the country, but that was sent for transporting the Gandhi family who was going for holidaying. After that, their entire group was carried to an island by INS Viraat, where it stayed for ten days. 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 two children, daughter of Amitabh’s brother Ajitabh, and former minister Arun Singh’s brother Bijendra Singh’s wife and daughter.

Not only was INS Viraat requisitioned for transporting the Gandhi family, but government employees and navy soldiers were also assigned 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 the Gandhi family and their guests.

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 incurring huge expenditure. However, for the delectation of the Gandhi family and their guests, India’s security was compromised and massive outlays on public exchequer overlooked.

  Support Us  

Whether NDTV or 'The Wire', they never have to worry about funds. In name of saving democracy, they get money from various sources. We need your support to fight them. Please contribute whatever you can afford

OpIndia Staffhttps://www.opindia.com
Staff reporter at OpIndia

Related Articles

Trending now

British Pakistani rapper Frenzo Harami spews venom on Hindus. Here is what we know about him

Pakistan-born British rapper, who used to sell drugs before becoming a rapper, spoke the language of terrorists, used Gaumutra jibe

Rahul Gandhi shares fake news related to Lord Ram, twice in two days. This is what it shows

What made Rahul Gandhi share a fake news about 'Jai Shri Ram' chant even though Police had debunked the claims?

Big Liberals, small hearts: By donating 80 vials of vaccine, America has proved to be the poorest country in the world

Do you remember when Western media and their native sepoys flew drones over cremation grounds in India? They are quiet now

Sultan Ansari, from whom Ram Janmabhoomi Teerth Kshetra bought land rubbishes claims of ‘scam’, says he supports Trust: Read details

Putting all the allegations of a ‘land scam’ by the Shri Ram Janmbhoomi Teerth Kshetra Trust to rest, Sultan Ansari rubbished the claims

‘Even North Korea is not this crazy’: Defector rails against woke US universities for encouraging cancel culture and intolerance to dissent

A 27-year-old defector said she found little difference between the repressive culture in North Korea and the American woke culture

West Bengal: TMC panchayat Pradhan threatens Congress ally ISF workers to join party or face consequences

"Unlike other places, we did not commit atrocities on you here. We are only telling you to come and join us and live in peace," the Panchayat Pradhan can be heard saying in the video

Recently Popular

Here is the truth about the land deal by Ram Janmabhoomi Teerth Kshetra and how the allegations by likes of AAP are baseless

Shri Ram Janmabhoomi Teerth Kshetra and its head Champat Rai bought an additional piece of land for the purposes of additional construction to facilitate pilgrims who would be travelling to Ayodhya

Kamal R Khan calls Mika Singh ‘anpadh gawar sooar’ after the singer released a diss track titled ‘KRK Kutta’: Here is how the feud...

The feud between KRK and Mika Singh descends to calling each other ‘dogs’ and ‘pigs’, here how it unfolded

Nikhil Kamath disregarded Viswanathan Anand’s request to not use his name in public communication after cheating, says grandmaster’s wife

Zerodha co-founder Nikhil Kamath recently apologised for using unfair means to defeat Chess grandmaster Vishwanathan Anand

Young billionaire Nikhil Kamath’s account closed by Chess.com as he admits cheating in charity game to defeat Vishwanathan Anand

Nikhil Kamath created quite the flutter recently after he apparently defeated Vishwanathan Anand in a game of chess.

Rohingyas settled all over UP with forged Aadhaar, voter IDs, fresh arrests reveal they are getting financial aid too: Report

ADG informed that the Rohingyas have settled in every assembly constituency with forged voter ID cards.

60-year-old woman gang-raped in front of her grandson: More horror stories emerge from Bengal as women speak up in SC

Women in West Bengal have moved the Supreme Court narrating the details of the horrifying gang-rapes they were subjected to in the post-poll violence by the members of ruling party.
- Advertisement -


Connect with us