New Delhi: Congress on Thursday hit back at PM Modi for his allegation that the Rajiv Gandhi family used INS Viraat for holiday trip back when Rajiv was the Prime Minister. (Catch Complete Coverage of Lok Sabha Elections 2019 Here)

Taking to Twitter, party spokesperson Randeep Singh Surjewala said, “Distraction and fakery is your last resort. You have made Indian Air Force jets your own Taxi! You have paid as low as Rs 744 for using IAF jets for election trips!”

Addressing the PM who had accused late Rajiv Gandhi of using INS Virat as ‘taxi’ for family vacation, Surjewala cited a media report on the expenses the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) bore for the PM’s trips within the country since his tenure began.

“Scared of your own sins haunting you, you are shamelessly pointing fingers on others!” said Surjewala, referring to the report which, based on an RTI, claimed that the BJP spent Rs 1.4 crore to the IAF for 240 “non-official domestic trips” made by the PM up to January 2019 during his tenure.

The report said, “In some cases, the amount paid seemed to be quite low. For example, the BJP paid Rs 744 for an ‘H/P Balangir-H/P Patharchera’ trip by Modi on January 15, 2019.”

Surjewala tweeted again, claiming that PM Modi’s lie had been exposed by Naval staff. He wrote, “Modiji’s lies about Rajiv Gandhiji has been exposed by Adm L Ramdass, Ex Chief of Naval Staff & then Fleet Officer, Commanding-In-Chief, Southern Naval Command,  V Adm Vinod Pasricha, Commanding Officer, INS Viraat and Wajahat Habibullah, Administrator, Lakshadweep.”

At his rally at Ramlila Maidan on Wednesday, PM Modi had said, “Friends, have you ever heard of anyone going on a holiday with his family on a warship? Don’t be surprised at this question…The biggest Namdaar family of the Congress had used INS Viraat, the country’s pride, as its personal taxi.”

“INS Viraat was securing the maritime boundaries at the time. But it was sent to fetch the Gandhi family going on vacation… In the list of holidayers were members of his sasuraal. Was the country’s security jeopardised or not?” he had asked.