“Soldiers are being sent to become martyrs in non-bulletproof trucks while an Rs 8400 crore aircraft for the PM. Is this justice?” wrote Congress leader Rahul Gandhi in a tweet on Saturday.
This caption accompanied a video of some soldiers sitting inside a truck as they discuss the dangers of using a non-bullet proof truck. “It’s not even safe using a bullet-proof truck and we are being sent in a non-bullet-proof one. It’s more like they are playing with our lives,” said one of the soldiers in the video.
Yet another soldier can be heard saying that the inspectors and OC’s are taken in bulletproof cars while the company or the team is forced into a non-bullet proof one.
The leader with this tweet raised concerns over the safety or lack there off for the soldiers. He compared the concerns of the jawans for the need of a non-bullet proof truck to the recently acquired Air India One Boeing 777 aircraft. This VVIP aircraft will be used to fly the President, the Vice-President, and the Prime Minister.
This is also not the first time that Gandhi took a jibe at PM Modi over the acquisition of Air India One. As recently as on Thursday, he accused the PM of not spending effectively on the requirements of Indian soldiers and instead of using funds on planes. In a tweet on that day, Gandhi wrote, “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”
He even said that the same money could have been used to provide warm clothes, jacket, gloves, and oxygen cylinders to soldiers adding “PM is only concerned about his image and not soldiers.”
An estimation of Rs 8,400 crore has been reported as the total cost of purchase and retrofitting the two planes. It is also reported that the B777 planes will have state-of-the-art missile defence systems called Large Aircraft Infrared Countermeasures (LAIRCM) and Self-Protection Suites (SPS), etc.
Even the arrival of the first aircraft triggered a verbal row between the government and the Congress leader. He accused Modi of “wasting” thousands of crores of rupees on the plane just because “his friend Donald Trump” has one. Here Gandhi was referring to the Air Force One craft which is used by US President Donald Trump.
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