Written byShalini Ojha ·
From New Delhi's Ramlila Maidan, Prime Minister Narendra Modi launched a fresh attack on the Gandhi family, by referring to an incident which media "forgot" to report.
In 1987, former Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi went on a vacation with his family. But for this "normal getaway" from his political duties, the Congress leader used INS Viraat.
PM Modi said Rajiv used India's premier warship as "taxi" and it's hard to disagree with him.
PM Modi was replying to Congress President Rahul Gandhi (Rajiv's son), who had said armed forces don't belong to anyone while attacking BJP.
Taking a leaf from history, PM Modi retorted, "Rahul Gandhi says armed forces are no one's personal forces. But the Gandhis used INS Viraat as their personal taxi when Rajiv Gandhi as Prime Minister was on a 10-day holiday."
"The ship was on duty but was diverted to pick up the Gandhis. Rajiv Gandhi's in-laws were also present. Should foreigners have been carried on an Indian warship? Wasn't this playing with India's security," PM Modi asked.
Later, PM Modi tweeted an India Today story to prove that Rajiv took his family to vacation on INS Viraat.
The Gandhis had gone on a vacation to Bangaram in Lakshwadeep archipelago. Rajiv, his wife Sonia and children Rahul and Priyanka, were joined by Bollywood star Amitabh Bachchan, his wife Jaya, and their kids.
The daughter of Amitabh's brother Ajitabh also accompanied them.
At the rally, PM Modi didn't stop after talking about the "idyllic vacation". He added Sonia Gandhi's house was frequently visited by "Quattrocchi mama, Anderson mama, and Michel mama".
He added Congress suddenly started talking about NYAY (the flagship scheme under which the party has promised to deposit money into accounts of poor families), but what happened about those who suffered during the 1984 riots.
"We are trying to undo all the wrong deeds of the Congress governments. It is the first time that the perpetrators of the anti-Sikh riots have been put behind bars and are facing the gallows," PM Modi said amid loud cheers.
Rattled after PM Modi's explosive speech, Congress said the BJP leader was desperate.
Abhishek Manu Singhvi called the vacation an "official trip" and slammed PM Modi for talking about Rajiv, 28 years after his demise.
"Does this not show his absolute despair and does he forget the joyride he took on a seaplane in Gujarat," Singhvi added.
By shedding limelight on Rajiv's extravagant lifestyle, PM Modi has taken the "naamdaar v/s kaamdaar" battle a notch higher.
It is important to note that this exotic vacation rarely made it to headlines.
Rajiv using INS Viraat for personal use should feature in the top 10 list of his blunders, but "fair" media "saved" him.
The last two phase of elections just got more interesting.
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