Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Wednesday accused the Gandhi family of using warship INS Viraat as its “personal taxi” for a holiday when Rajiv Gandhi was at the helm, launching a fresh attack on the late Congress leader days after throwing the “Bhrashtachari No. 1” barb at him.
Addressing his first poll rally in Delhi ahead of the May 12 elections for all its seven seats, Mr. Modi launched a scathing counter-attack on the Congress, asking why it fumed when he exposed the “misdeeds” of its leaders in whose name it often seeks votes.
Congress leaders, including its president Rahul Gandhi and general secretary Priyanka Gandhi Vadra, have hit out at Mr. Modi for his barb at their father, who was India’s prime minister between 1984-89.
“Ever imagined that a premier warship of the Indian armed forces could be used as a taxi for a personal holiday? One dynasty did it,” Modi asked.
The Navy was made to host the Gandhi family and Rajiv Gandhi’s in-laws, and a helicopter was also deployed in their service, Mr. Modi claimed, adding that when a family becomes supreme, the country’s security is at stake.
“INS Viraat was insulted by using it as a personal taxi. This happened when Rajiv Gandhi and his family was out for a 10-day vacation. INS Viraat was deployed for securing our maritime boundary. But it was diverted to take the Gandhi family which was out for a vacation,” Modi said.
He also claimed that after picking up the Gandhi family, INS Viraat halted at an island for 10 days.
“Rajiv Gandhi was accompanied by his in-laws who had come from Italy. Question is whether the security of the country was not compromised by taking foreigners onboard a warship,” he asked.
Aircraft carrier INS Viraat was commissioned into the Indian Navy in 1987. After nearly 30 years of service, it was decommissioned in 2016.
Earlier, Mr. Modi had dubbed Rajiv Gandhi as “Bhrashtachari No. 1” (corrupt no 1), in a reference to the Bofors scam.