Congress leader Rahul Gandhi this morning yet again targeted Prime Minister Narendra Modi and accused the government of spending Rs 8,400 crore for special aircraft while neglecting safety of soldiers.
In a tweet, the ex-Congress chief wrote in Hindi: "Our jawans are travelling in non-bullet proof trucks and aircraft worth Rs 8,400 crore is being arranged for the Prime Minister. Is this fair?"
Mr Gandhi, Congress MP from Kerala's Wayanad, also shared a video that purportedly shows some soldiers talking. NDTV cannot independently verify the authenticity of the video
In the two-minute video, one of the men in uniform can be heard saying: "We are travelling in a non-bullet proof vehicle at a time when people are not safe in bullet-proof vehicles. They are playing with our lives. We are wasting our lives." It's not clear where the video has been shot.
हमारे जवानों को नॉन-बुलेट प्रूफ़ ट्रकों में शहीद होने भेजा जा रहा है और PM के लिए 8400 करोड़ के हवाई जहाज़!— Rahul Gandhi (@RahulGandhi) October 10, 2020
क्या यह न्याय है? pic.twitter.com/iu5iYWVBfE
Another man in uniform then says to the camera: "This is very poor arrangement. We have been given a very bad vehicle to travel. The senior goes in a bullet-proof vehicle while we are sent in a non-bullet proof truck."
This is the second time in less than a week that Rahul Gandhi has attacked PM Modi and accused him of "wasting" thousands of crores on a set of two custom-made Boeing airplanes.
Earlier this week, he had said: "On one hand, Prime Minister Modi has bought two aircraft worth Rs 8,000 crore. On the other hand, China is at our borders and our security forces are braving harsh winters to protect (us)."
He had made these remarks, referring to India-China border standoff, in Punjab where he protested against controversial farm laws.
"Why don't you question them about this? It is strange that nobody is asking about the Boeing 777 purchased for this whopping amount but everyone is quick to point to a gaddi (cushion)," he asked while hitting back at Union Minister Hardeep Singh Puri over his dig.
"The 'protest' launched by the Congress is a political protest by those whose vested interests are hurt by the farm bills. Cushioned sofas on tractors is not a protest... it is 'protest tourism' to misguide our farmers, who are educated and intelligent enough to see through this facade," Mr Puri had tweeted earlier, with a picture of Mr Gandhi sitting on tractor.
The 'protest' launched by Congress is a political protest by those whose vested interests are hurt by the #FarmBills.— Hardeep Singh Puri (@HardeepSPuri) October 5, 2020
Cushioned sofas on tractors is not a protest.
It is 'Protest Tourism' to misguide our farmers who are educated & intelligent to see through this facade. pic.twitter.com/MiYz7IndYf
The government has brought two VVIP planes for travel of President Ram Nath Kovind, Prime Minister and Vice President. A custom-made B777 aircraft arrived in Delhi last week. Overall, the planes cost Rs 8,400 crore, according to news agency PTI.
The government has maintained that the process for procuring the two aircraft had begun under the UPA government.
(With inputs from PTI)