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Congress spokesperson criticised evacuation from war-torn Ukraine in military aircraft ‘which does not have seat belts’, gets schooled

It is important to note that Congress is playing petty politics by nit-picking at wartime evacuations. When two foreign countries are at war, it is the product of the Modi government's prudent foreign policy that India is even being able to evacuate all its students.

While the Modi government is busy evacuating stranded Indian nationals from Ukraine under ‘Operation Ganga‘, the Opposition Congress party has stooped to undermining the government’s initiative by highlighting the alleged inconvenience faced by students during their evacuation in a military aircraft.

In a tweet of Sunday (March 6), Congress National Spokesperson Dr Shama Mohamed posted a cropped picture of the IAF C-17 Globemaster and claimed that Uttar Pradesh-bound-students had to travel for 7 hours without a seat belt.

“This is how many students came from Bucharest to Uttar Pradesh – in a military aircraft flying 7 hours without seat belts! Why does the Modi govt only post nice Air India evacuation pics & not these,” she wrote. Her tweet came a day before the 7th Phase of polls in the State of Uttar Pradesh.

Screengrab of the tweet by Shama Mohamed

It is important to note that Congress is playing petty politics by nit-picking at wartime evacuations. When two foreign countries are at war, it is the product of the Modi government’s prudent foreign policy that India is even being able to evacuate all its students. Congress party, had in the past, jeopardised the lives of Indians when it was trying to evacuate Indians from Libya.

Wartime evacuation is nearly never perfect and inconveniences to evacuees are expected. To nitpick and say that the government is doing a bad job at saving the lives of Indian stranded in a war-torn nation because of these minor inconveniences can only be charted to petty politics at best and devious intentions at worst.

Netizens slam Shama Mohamed for being unreasonable

Netizens were miffed at the desperate attempt of the Congress spokesperson to find nooks in the evacuation mission. India Today Audience Engagement Editor, Kabir Goswami, took potshots at Shama Mohamed for being deliberately unreasonable.

He tweeted, “Oh No. This is unacceptable. Modi Govt has failed miserably in providing (the) best flying experience to the Indians onboard the WAR EMERGENCY EVAC FLIGHTS. Govt should have ensured gourmet meals, in-flight entertainment and if not all these, at least some extra legroom. Duh!”

“Worst, they cant add air miles.. worst day in history of independent India,” wrote another user sarcastically.

One Twitter user, Superstar Raj, posted a video of the interior of the Indian Air Force (IAF)’s C-17 Globemaster. “What kind of crook you are Shama you folks are awefully shameless. 1. Use Uttar Pradesh on voting day. 2. Crop pictures show just 2% of the whole aircraft. Here is how the whole aircraft looks like…” he tweeted.

Former journalist Mohan Sinha stated, “It was an evacuation from a war zone not a picnic they were returning from. Stop tweeting like your idiot boss.”

A Twitter user pointed out how the United States had undertaken a similar evacuation from Kabul after the fall of Afghanistan at the hands of Taliban. “This is US C-17 where 671 Afghans and Americans were packed like sardines during Afghan evacuation,” she remarked.

Popular Twitter user Rishi Bagree further mocked the Congress spokesperson, “Modi Govt failed to arrange a Business class seat in military aircraft. There was a time when people use to cut birthday cakes on military aircraft. Is this the #AccheDin promised by Modi????”

Congress politicises Operation Ganga, draws comparison with 2011 Libya evacuation

Earlier, Congress scion Rahul Gandhi went on to politicise the tragic death of Naveen Shekharappa in Ukraine on March 1 to allege that the Indian government had no ‘strategic plans’ for the speedy evacuation of Indian nationals.

Instead of extending support to the government of the day in evacuating stranded Indians, the Congress party saw the geo-political conflict as a ‘political opportunity.’ It tried to create hysteria by highlighting isolated cases of inconvenience caused to a handful of stranded Indian students.

The grand-old party also used these isolated cases to peddle the narrative that the government has not been catering to the needs of the students. Significantly, it attempted to undermine the government’s initiative as a ‘Public Relations (PR) stunt’.

The Congress party envied the ‘personal involvement’ of Ministers in the evacuation process in Ukraine and began drawing ‘superfluous’ analogies with the ‘slow’ mission conducted by the then UPA government in Libya in 2011.

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