When Rajiv Gandhi Used India’s Only Aircraft Carrier INS Viraat To Go On Holiday With Indian, Italian Family Friends

Former PM Rajiv Gandhi (Photo by Pramod Pushkarna/The India Today Group/Getty Images)

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Wednesday (8 May) trained his guns at Gandhi family and said that Rajiv Gandhi, during his tenure as prime minister, used Indian Navy’s aircraft career INS Viraat to go for a vacation, reports India Today.

According to the report, PM Modi, while speaking at a public rally in Delhi’s Ramlila Maidan, said that navy staff and helicopter were also used by former PM Rajiv Gandhi for making his family and friends’ stay comfortable during the island vacation.

"Have you ever heard that someone use INS Viraat to enjoy holiday?... It happened when Rajiv Gandhi was the PM of this country? INS Viraat, which was deployed on sea borders, was sent to enjoy the holiday for 10 days," PM Modi said during the rally, as reported by India Today.

The prime minister also said that Rajiv Gandhi took his in-laws, who were Italian citizens, along with him on the vacation onboard INS Viraat.

"Foreigners were allowed to enter the INS Viraat, was it not a compromise with National security?" Modi asked.

The Prime Minister, in his speech, was referring to the infamous Lakshadweep vacation took by Gandhi family in 1987.

According to an India Today Magazine report, the Gandhi family, along with their Indian and international friends, had gone on the vacation on the uninhabited island of Bangaram in the Lakshadweep archipelago, 465 km west of Cochin.

As per the report, INS Viraat was used to transport the Gandhis and moved in the Arabian Sea for ten days. Its daily expenditure at sea was astronomical as the Viraat travelled with an entire retinue of escort ships. A submarine was also reported to be in attendance and some defence experts questioned the justification of depriving the navy of its most effective fighting component merely to suit Rajiv's holiday plans.

INS Viraat was Indian Navy's flagship aircraft carrier. It was commissioned in 1987 and served for almost 30 years.

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