During his rally in New Delhi yesterday, Prime Minister Narendra Modi has brought to light another instance of power abuse by the Gandhi family. In this regard, he has stated that the Nehru-Gandhi family had used Indian Navy’s aircraft carrier INS Viraat as its “personal taxi” for a vacation when Rajiv Gandhi was the prime minister. This statement comes at a very opportune time when the entire nation is pulling up old files to understand just how deep corruption runs in the first family of the country.
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 and that too with great swag.
Read this and share widely!
— Chowkidar Narendra Modi (@narendramodi) May 8, 2019
Back in the year 1987, the erstwhile Prime Minister of the country, Rajiv Gandhi had taken a new year vacation for 10 days along with an entourage which included his immediate family, friends of Priyanka and Rahul Gandhi, Sonia Gandhi’s mother and siblings along with their families and children, the Bachan family, family of Bijendra Singh who is the brother of the former union minister Arun Singh, along with a couple of foreigners. The party had chosen the uninhabited island of Bangaram in the beautiful Lakshadweep islands, secluded but one of the few without prohibition (applicable by and large in the islands). Rajiv Gandhi and the entourage had a relaxing time on the island and were seen sailing, fishing, swimming and simply ‘Sunning it up’.
Rajiv Gandhi during the sunny vacation had incurred quite a bit of an expense, courtesy of his large entourage. Since various agencies were involved, it is impossible to figure out what the total bill would have been but surely would have been a hefty amount. The food was provided by the Society for the Promotion of Recreation, Tourism and (Water) Sports (SPORTS), which is a wing of the Lakshadweep administration. Apart from the food, five of the society’s personnel, including two cooks, were stationed at Bangaram. The products consumed include, a consignment of wines and liquor which was brought in from Delhi, some 100 loaves of bread and from Cochin came Cadbury’s chocolates, 40 crates of cold drinks, 300 bottles of mineral water, 20 kg of flour, 105 kg of basmati rice, and fresh vegetables amongst other extravaganzas. Apart from this, a poultry farm was set up in Agatti (an island in the archipelago) with 100 chickens which had also sent freshly-caught fish and island fruits.
However, the real eyebrow raiser is the use of India’s premier warship, INS Viraat, for transportation purposes by the Gandhis. Its daily expenditure at sea is astronomical as the Viraat travels with an entire retinue of escort ships, and knowing this, the warship was moved in the Arabian Sea for 10 days by the Gandhis. A submarine was also reported to be in attendance. This move had led to a lot of criticism back in the day with defence experts questioning the justification of depriving the navy of its most effective fighting component merely to cater to the Nehru-Gandhi holiday plans. Moreover, considerable expense by the government was also incurred in setting up a special satellite link for communication purposes at Agatti, for the duration of the holiday.
While the citizens are clearly disgusted with this piece of information, which had until now been forgotten over the decades, a further dig reveals that this isn’t the first instance wherein the Nehru-Gandhi family had misused the defence resources. Back in 1950, the first Prime Minister of the country, Jawaharlal Nehru, who established the Nehru-Gandhi dynasty in India, was seen relaxing in the INS Delhi with his daughter and grandchildren. This was during a journey to Indonesia, wherein Nehru had taken part in the Navy exercise and had strangely taken along Indira Gandhi, Sanjay Gandhi and Rajiv Gandhi. Pictures had emerged of his grandchildren and daughter relaxing on the deck. The visit to Indonesia was an official visit by the prime minister and is highly unusual and against the established protocols to bring along family members, especially small children for the visit.
With the last two phases of the elections left, the current government is breaking the dynastic claims of the Congress bit by bit. Every day, new instances of the Congress’ irregularities are coming to light and are furthering the anti-dynastic narrative of the NDA government. The entire base of the Congress is being eroded with their basic identity being questioned and citizens wondering if the corruption and unethical activities are all there is to the history of the “grand old party”.