Tweet against ex-Navy Chief over misuse of jawans :Defence Ministry spokesperson sent on leave

Indian Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman while giving joint statement during US def. secretary James Mattis's visit to India(photo credit ANI )
Image: ANI

New Delhi, Oct 26  Defence Ministry spokesperson Swarnashree Rao Rajashekar was on Friday sent on leave after she posted a tweet attacking former Navy Chief Admiral Arun Prakash that triggered outrage among military personnel.

Col Aman Anand immediately took over as the acting official spokesperson of the Ministry after Swarnashree Rajashekhar proceeded on leave, the Defence Ministry tweeted.

The dramatic action came after Swarnashree Rajashekar gave a stinging response to a tweet by Admiral Prakash on the use of a flag on an official vehicle.

The conflict sparked when the MoD responded to Admiral Prakash’s tweet over the usage of ornaments of defence services.Admiral Prakash had retweeted a photograph that showed the Internal Financial Advisor to the Western Command of the Army using the command’s insignia flag on an official car.Civilian personnel in the Defence Ministry are not authorised to use such flags, a privilege meant for officers of the rank of Major General and above.

When the former Navy chief said that person misusing Army Command’s insignia needed to be reprimanded, the Principal Spokesperson for the Ministry, Swarnashree Rao Rajashekar tweeted:”What about misuse of jawans in your residence during an officer’s tenure Sir? And how about children being picked up and dropped to school in Fauji gaadis? Not to forget Madam’s shopping expedition on government vehicles. And endless parties… who pays for that?”

Admiral Prakash was among the first to take offence.

“Even if misuse of an Army Command’s insignia by a civilian is not a cognizable offence, the person needs to be reprimanded by the GoC in C whose ‘Financial Adviser’ he is,” he said, referring to the officer who used the flag on his vehicle.

The spokesperson, after facing flak, deleted her tweet saying: “The tweet was inadvertently done and the same is deeply regretted please.”

But the Defence Ministry wasted no time in asking her to go on leave.

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