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Published On: Tue, Oct 6th, 2020

Rahul Gandhi attacks PM Modi citing ’50 palang’ on Air India One

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rahul-gandhi-1601994318NEW DELHI : Congress leader Rahul Gandhi on Tuesday took an aim at Prime Minister Narendra Modi over the Air India One aircraft that arrived in New Delhi to be used by the prime minister, president and the vice-president, only to be reminded by the government that it was in fact the UPA government that had finalised the VIP aircraft deal.

Rahul hit back by accusing Prime Minister Narendra Modi of “wasting” thousands of crores on a set of two custom-made Boeing airplanes that “did not just have a cushion but a whole lot of luxury beds for his comfort”.
Gandhi made the comment after being attacked by the government for using a cushioned seat to sit on a tractor during his Kisan Bachao rallies in Punjab against the farm laws passed in Parliament.
Questioning the need to spend such a large amount of money “when China is at our borders” and the government is rushing weapons, ammunition, fuel, food and winter essentials to eastern Ladakh – in its biggest operation in decades Mr Gandhi suggested PM Modi wanted the planes – one of which is Air India One – because “his friend Donald Trump (the United States President) has one (Air Force One)”.

Addressing a press conference in Patiala, Rahul hit back saying “no question will be asked why PM Narendra Modi bought planes for Rs 8,000 crore” and that there are no cushions in the plane but beds. “Ek nahi 50 palang hain usme,” he said.
“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),” Mr Gandhi told reporters in Punjab’s Patiala today – the second day of this three-day rally.
“On the one, Prime Minister Modi has bought two aircraft worth Rs 8,000 crore. On the other, China is at our borders and our security forces are braving harsh winters to protect (us),” he said, adding that the cushions had been placed there by well-wishers.
Mr Gandhi’s comment triggered an immediate response from sources in the government, which pointed out that the procurement process for the planes – one of which is for VVIPs – was started under the Congress-led UPA administration and said it had simply concluded the purchase.
Mr Gandhi has been a vocal critic of the Narendra Modi government on several fronts, including its handling of the China border row; this morning the Congress leader declared the PM is “only obsessed with his image” and had given away 1,200 square km of territory to China.
Later in the evening sources defended the government’s purchase of the planes – initiated in 2011 – and said Mr Gandhi was entitled to “disregard for the UPA government” but not to his own facts. The sources clarified that the planes, which belong to the Indian Air Force, are not “the PM’s aircrafts” but were meant for use by other VVIPs as well.
(With Agency Inputs ).






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