Holiday on INS Viraat? That’s crazy, says Rahul

Congress President Rahul Gandhi. DH file photo

Congress president Rahul Gandhi, in a recent exclusive interview to Hindustan Times, vehemently denied Prime Minister Narendra Modi's allegation that former Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi used the Indian aircraft carrier INS Viraat as a ‘personal taxi’ for his holidays.

“Friends, have you ever heard of anyone going on a holiday with his family on a warship? Don’t be surprised by this question. This has happened, in our country. The biggest namdaar family of the Congress had used INS Viraat, the country’s pride, as its personal taxi,” the Prime Minister had said during a poll rally.

“That is a lie. The truth is, we are fighting a battle for the present and the future of this country. And Mr Modi has been outmanoeuvred, outflanked and cut down, as far as the present and the future are concerned.” Rahul said.

Photographs of a young Rahul Gandhi aboard the INS Viraat had been making the rounds in social media. When asked if he had ever been aboard the INS Viraat, Rahul Gandhi said he had. 

“I’ve been on the Viraat. I’ve been with my father on it when he was the PM. Of course, there are pictures. He had gone for an official visit ... and I accompanied him.” Rahul Gandhi said. 

When questioned about the rumours of a holiday in the Lakshadweep aboard the INS Viraat, Rahul replied “Holiday on the INS Viraat? That’s crazy. Why would anyone holiday on an aircraft carrier? It’s not a cruise ship!”

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Rahul was also questioned on the Prime Minister's work ethic and the fact that his supporters believe that Modi doesn’t even sleep. Rahul responded, “Very simple. How do you define work? Do you define work as coming in front of a camera and waving? I don’t define work like that. An essential part of my work is spending time thinking about, and listening to people’s voices and using those interactions to develop a strategy for the country. I will bet you, whatever you want, that as far as thinking about India is concerned, I’m spending at least 10 times the amount of time that Mr Narendra Modi is spending.” 

“Well that’s insane. It’s also a lie. Who said not sleeping is the measure of working?” he added.
 
Lieutenant Commander Harinder Sikka raised his voice with regards to Rajiv Gandhi using the Navy for his personal gain. He was quick to jump aboard the Modi bandwagon and supported the Prime Minister’s argument. He also referred to Sonia Gandhi as a ‘foreign national’. 

"Prime Minister in INS Viraat is ok but his wife was a foreign national and sensitive information was at stake. No one, even Navy officers, was not allowed inside but here they were holidaying. I raised the issue before the Commanding Officer and I was asked to shut up. He is the Prime Minister. Even if you use a pin from a Navy ship, it has to be docketed." Sikka told the news channel.

"A foreign national was roaming freely in the most-coveted warship. Control rooms were made open for civilians. Navy resources were used for holidaying. It was not right. We were furious but as serving officers, we could do nothing. Now we are speaking out," he added.

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