Rahul Gandhi targets Modi again on VIP aircraft

Rahul Gandhi (File Photo: Reuters). Sketched by the Pan Pacific Agency.

NEW DELHI, Oct 10, 2020, The Hindu. Former Congress president Rahul Gandhi on Saturday targeted Prime Minister Narendra Modi again on the purchase of a VIP aircraft by tweeting a two-minute video clip, The Hindu reported.

In the video clip, jawans in a truck were complaining how their lives were being put at risk by ferrying them in a non-bullet-proof vehicle.

“Our jawans are being sent in non-bullet-proof trucks to become martyrs, while a ₹8,400 crore plane for the Prime Minister. Is this justice?” asked Mr. Gandhi on Twitter, tagging the two-minute video clip.

Neither the date of the video nor its location is known but jawans were complaining that “they were being sent in a non-bullet-proof vehicle when even a bullet-proof vehicle in their area was also not sufficient to protect them”.

Mr. Gandhi has targeted Mr. Modi for the second time in two days over the purchase of the VIP aircraft.

On Thursday, the Congress leader tweeted to show the number of essential items the government could have purchased for soldiers posted in Siachen-Ladakh with the amount spent on the aircraft.

His tweet was in response to a news report in a Hindi newspaper that claimed the Public Accounts Committee of Parliament had sought permission from the Lok Sabha Speaker to visit Ladakh for an assessment on the ground after a Comptroller and Auditor General report flagged delays in the procurement of essential items for soldiers.

“The Prime Minister spent ₹ 8,400 crore to acquire an air plane. For our soldiers posted in Siachen-Ladakh, this amount could have bought: Warm Clothing: 30,00,000, Jackets and gloves: 60,00,000, Shoes: 67,20,000, Oxygen Cylinders: 16,80,000. PM is only concerned about his image and not soldiers,” Mr. Gandhi tweeted.

Government sources, however, clarified that the VIP aircraft acquisition was cleared by the United Progressive Alliance government and was delivered during the current regime.

Mr. Gandhi’s barbs over the VIP aircraft purchase started after BJP leaders had attacked him for using a cushion during his tractor rally in Punjab earlier this week.

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