Congress President Rahul Gandhi on Tuesday mocked Prime Minister Narendra Modi for claiming that he had given the Indian Air Force the green signal to proceed with airstrikes in Pakistan’s Balakot area on February 26 despite bad weather because “the clouds could actually help our planes escape the radars”.
“Modi ji, whenever it rains in India, do all aircraft disappear from the radar?” Gandhi said at a rally in Neemuch in Madhya Pradesh. At a rally in Ujjain, Gandhi said Modi should stop talking about “clouds and mangoes” and tell people about issues that matter, PTI reported.
The prime minister made the much-derided remarks in an interview to News Nation on Saturday. He claimed to have used his “raw wisdom” to dispel the doubts of defence experts who planned the mission. “I am surprised that the country’s pundits who abuse me never figured this out,” he told the news channel.
However, as many experts have noted on social media, Modi’s observation has no scientific basis. Radar technology uses radio waves to detect objects that may be obscured by fog. So, the clouds over the region on Balakot would not have given Indian fighter jets any advantage. The Twitter accounts of the BJP’s national and Gujarat units shared the interview clip, but deleted these soon after.
Meanwhile, Congress General Secretary Priyanka Gandhi Vadra also mocked Modi, saying the truth about the prime minister is now on the people’s radar, PTI reported. Vadra, who was addressing a rally in Bathinda, Punjab, accused Modi of indulging only in propaganda and making promises.
At the rally in Ujjain, the Congress president said he will never speak ill of Modi’s parents even though the prime minister has insulted his father and grandmother, PTI reported. “Modi ji talks with hatred,” Gandhi said. “He insults my father, grandmother, great grandfather. But I will never in my life speak about his family, his mother and father.”
He says he will not insult Modi’s family because he is not “a RSS or BJP man”, but belongs to the Congress. “I will return him love if hatred is thrown at me...We will defeat Modi ji with love, hugging you,” he said.
In Neemuch, Gandhi criticised BJP leaders for calling the Indian Army “Narendra Modi’s army” and said it was built with the “blood and sweat of India”.
Modi has often been criticised for talking about the Indian Army during campaigns. On Tuesday, Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Kamal Nath said that Modi has been talking about the country’s security forces because he was unable to speak about the last five years of his government.
Hinting at Modi’s interview with actor Akshay Kumar, Gandhi said, “Modi ji, you taught (us) how to eat mangoes; now tell the country what you did for jobless youth.”
The Congress president claimed that his party’s proposed NYAY scheme would benefit the economy and fix the “injustice” done because of the Goods and Services Tax regime and the demonetisation exercise.
“The Nyay scheme will benefit five crore families who earn less than Rs 12,000 per month,” Gandhi said. “This means Rs 72,000 will be deposited in the bank accounts of beneficiaries annually and Rs 3.6 lakh in five years.”