Congress spokesperson Pawan Khera, rebutting Prime Minister Narendra Modi's accusation that former prime minister Rajiv Gandhi used the INS Viraat as a "personal taxi for family vacations", said Vice Admiral Vinod Pasricha (retd) said that Modi is lying and that Rajiv used the INS Viraat while on an official visit. "It wasn’t a holiday, but facts don’t matter to Narendra Modi," he added.
#LIVE – Vice Admiral Vinod Pasricha (Retd) said that this is a lie. The then Prime Minister was on an official visit, it wasn’t a holiday but facts don’t matter to Mr. @narendramodi: @INCIndia’s @Pawankhera addresses media. | #ElectionsWithNews18 #PMRajivJibe pic.twitter.com/8MPeAB0mvl
— News18 (@CNNnews18) May 9, 2019
Addressing a press conference in Delhi, Khera said Modi was attacking Rajiv as he had no achievements of his government to present before voters during the ensuing Lok Sabha elections.
Khera also alleged that Modi was the first prime minister seeking votes on his "failures".
"What happened in Pulwama is a monumental failure of the intelligence. However Modiji dared to seek votes over it. Issues such as demonetisation, unemployment and Rafale aircraft deal were not the part of the debate for Modi," he said.
"Modi may hold Rajiv responsible for all this. The government has informed the Supreme Court that documents related to Rafale were stolen. Modi may hold Rajivji responsible for it. Or be it fugitive offenders who flew away with Rs 1 lakh crore," Khera said.
Khera said Modi tried to shift the blame for "his foolish acts" in the last five years to late prime ministers Rajiv and also Nehru.
In response to Modi's remarks, Congress chief Rahul Gandhi said that "battle is over" for the prime minister. "Modiji, your karma awaits you. Projecting your inner beliefs about yourself onto my father won't protect you," he tweeted.
Rahul signed off with a reference to his now popular show of affection for the prime minister in Parliament last year. "All my love and a huge hug," he wrote.
His sister and Congress general secretary Priyanka Gandhi Vadra also tweeted, in response to Modi's jibe, that the "people of Amethi" will give a befitting response to the insult to Rajiv. "The prime minister who politicises and insults the martyrdom of brave personnel has, in an unbridled craze, also insulted a humble and pure man's martyrdom. The people of Amethi, for whom Rajiv Gandhi lost his life, will reply. Yes, Modiji, this country will never forgive betrayal," she said.
With inputs from agencies
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Updated Date: May 09, 2019 15:39:49 IST