Congress on Tuesday slammed PM Narendra Modi’s gesture of taking a seaplane ride after his roadshow was cancelled in Gujarat. Modi flew in a seaplane from the Sabarmati River to Dharoi Dam in Mehsana district on the last day of campaigning for the Gujarat Assembly polls. However, Modi’s gesture didn’t go down well with Twitterati and some of the Congress leaders. Slamming Modi, chief Congress spokesman Randeep Surjewala wrote, “Vikaas ki batein unko na bhaai, Kehte hain unko Hawa-Hawai” (He didn’t like discussion related to development, he is known as Hawa-Hawai). “Gujarat ki janata pareshan, par mera jeevan to alishaan,” he wrote (People of Gujarat are troubled, but I have a lavish life).
However, Surjewala was not the only one who to slam Modi. Rachit Seth, another Congress leader, claimed that first seaplane in India flew back in 2010. He also tweeted a video of the same.
— Rachit Seth (@rachitseth) December 12, 2017
Congress spokesperson Priyanka Chaturvedi also slammed PM Narendra Modi. She wrote: “Seaplane services in India: 2010 in Andaman, 2015 in Kerala. However, let facts never come in the way of BJP and Modi’s narrative.”
Seaplane services in India:
2010 in Andaman
2015 in Kerala.
However let facts never come in the way of BJP and Modi’s narrative.
— Priyanka Chaturvedi (@priyankac19) December 12, 2017
“With all desperate tactics of Hardik CD, Rahul Somnath register, ‘neech aadmi’, ‘Pak wants Cong’, Khilji/Aurangzeb ki aulad’; having failed, Modi now tries gimmick of ‘first seaplane’ as a last trick to turn the tide. Seems he needs Magicians & astrologers now to win Gujarat! (sic)” wrote Prasanth Bhushan.
A number of twitter users also criticised the prime minister, “Ab samajh aaya hum Tax kyo bharte hai.. Narendra Modi ji humare tax ka paisa aise udaate hai, (Now I understand why we pay taxes, Narendra Modi ji waste taxpayers’ money like this)” wrote a user. “And then he cries that he comes from poor family. Using national resources for personal campaign…unethical,” another user, from the account name ‘Sunshine’, wrote.”Who can afford the sea plane? A poor crybaby & his dumbo bhakts? Plane sponsored by ?” wrote Dr Luttapppi on Twitter. “Very expensive Campaign affair. Only rich industrialists can fund for such an exercise. Uncalled for. Modi isn’t simple anymore,” wrote Sachin Krishna.
The prime minister had boarded the single-engine sea-plane from near the Sardar Bridge connecting the old city with Ahmedabad West, the first-ever flight by such a craft in the country. The special jetty was constructed to facilitate the prime ministers boarding from the river. A number of BJP workers and other city dwellers had flocked the Sabarmati Riverfront to witness this one-of-a-kind event.
However, there was one person who also lauded Modi. It was the pilot who flew the plane. “It was a very pleasing experience. I gave him safety briefing. He was a very good passenger. Sea planes are very common in many countries, it should be popular in India also as you have lakes, the rivers, the coastal areas,” said John Goulet, pilot of sea plane in which PM Modi flew.
On Monday, Modi had said at a poll rally that a seaplane will land on the Sabarmati river for first-time in history. “I will go to Ambaji in the seaplane after landing in Dharoi dam and come back,” he said. The prime minister said that the BJP had planned a road show for today in Ahmedabad. “However, the administration has not given permission and I had time so I decided to go to Ambaji in the sea-plane,” Modi had said. “We cannot have airports everywhere, so our government has planned to have these sea-planes,” he said.