'Wrong dates, facts': Sachin Pilot slams Amit Malviya over claim that Rajesh Pilot dropped bombs on Mizoram

BJP leader Amit Malviya claimed Rajesh Pilot bombed Aizawl in March 1966, but Congress leader Sachin Pilot replied that his father was commissioned in IAF only in October 1966

Updated - August 16, 2023 09:10 am IST

Published - August 16, 2023 07:23 am IST - New Delhi

File picture of Congress leader Sachin Pilot

File picture of Congress leader Sachin Pilot | Photo Credit: PTI

Congress leader Sachin Pilot on Tuesday hit out at BJP IT department head Amit Malviya for claiming that his father Rajesh Pilot dropped bombs as an air force pilot in Mizoram in March 1966, saying the facts and dates are wrong as he was commissioned into the force in October that year.

In a post on X, Malviya had claimed that Rajesh Pilot and Suresh Kalmadi were flying the Indian Air Force planes that bombed Aizawl, the capital of Mizoram, on March 5, 1966. 

"Later both became MPs on Congress tickets and ministers in the government. It is clear that Indira Gandhi gave a place in politics as a reward, gave respect to those who carried out air raids on their own people in the Northeast," Malviya had said in the post in Hindi.

Hitting out at the BJP leader, Pilot said, "@amitmalviya - You have the wrong dates, wrong facts…Yes, as an Indian Air Force pilot, my late father did drop bombs. But that was on erstwhile East Pakistan during the 1971 Indo-Pak war and not as you claim, on Mizoram on the 5th of March 1966 He was commissioned into the IAF only on 29th October 1966! (Certificate attached). Jai hind and a happy Independence Day," Pilot said on X and shared the certificate according to which Rajesh Pilot was commissioned in the Indian Air Force on October 29, 1966. 

The Congress last week hit out at Prime Minister Narendra Modi for his criticism of then PM Indira Gandhi's decision to use the Indian Air Force in Mizoram in 1966, saying he "twisted decisions" taken by his predecessors out of their political and historical context to score "petty debating points".

Responding to the no-confidence motion in the Lok Sabha, Mr. Modi had referred to incidents such as the use of the Air Force to "attack the people in Mizoram", a radio transmission of the then Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru in 1962 leaving the people of the northeast to fend for themselves during the Chinese invasion as cases in point of Congress' "neglect" of the region.

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