New Delhi: Former Congress President Rahul Gandhi on Thursday accused Prime Minister Narendra Modi of not spending effectively on requirements of Indian soldiers and instead using funds on planes. Gandhi was referring to the delivery of two VVIP aircraft – custom made B777 aircraft which will be used to fly the President, Vice President and the Prime Minister on October 1.
“PM bought a plane worth 8400 crores for himself. In this, so much could have been purchased for our soldiers posted at the Siachen-Ladakh border,” Gandhi said in a tweet.
He further said that the same money could have been used to provide warm clothes, jacket, gloves and oxygen cylinders to soldiers. “PM is only concerned about his image and not soldiers,” the former Congress president said.
The total cost of purchase and retrofitting the two planes has reportedly been estimated to be around Rs 8,400 crore. The B777 planes will have state-of-the-art missile defence systems called Large Aircraft Infrared Countermeasures (LAIRCM) and Self-Protection Suites (SPS), according to people in the know.
The arrival of the first aircraft triggered a verbal duel between the government and the Congress leader, who accused PM Modi for “wasting” thousands of crores of rupees on the plane just because “his friend Donald Trump” has one. Gandhi was referring to the Air Force One used by the US President Donald Trump.
The government maintained that the procurement of the aircraft had begun under the UP government and the BJP-led government at Centre has only brought it to a logical conclusion, according to news agency PTI.