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'Insulting The Sacrifice Of IAF': Ashok Gehlot Tells BJP In Rare Support For Sachin Pilot Over Remarks Against His Father

Rajasthan chief minister Ashok Gehlot, who is normally usually found in a constant tussle with Sachin Pilot over the CM post, overlooked the frictions this time to take his colleague’s side against the BJP's claims about Pilot's father.

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Rajasthan CM Ashok Gehlot with his former deputy Sachin Pilot
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In a rare gesture, Rajasthan chief minister Ashok Gehlot on Wednesday defended his party colleague Sachin Pilot who was attacked by the BJP over claims that his father Rajesh Pilot dropped bombs on Indian citizens in Mizoram in March 1966 when he was an Indian Air Force (IAF) pilot.

The claim was made on X, formerly known as Twitter, by BJP’s social media cell head Amit Malviya. “Rajesh Pilot and Suresh Kalmadi were flying the Indian Air Force planes that bombed Aizawl, the capital of Mizoram, on 5 March 1966. Later both became MPs on Congress ticket and ministers in the government,” he alleged in the post in Hindi.

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Gehlot responded to Malviya’s post today saying Rajesh Pilot was a brave pilot and by insulting them, “the BJP was insulting the sacrifice of the Indian Air Force”. Gehlot, who is normally usually found in a constant tussle with Pilot over the top post in Rajasthan, overlooked the frictions to take his colleague’s side this time. Notably, Rajasthan goes for elections this year.

His response comes a day after Sachin Pilot slammed the BJP leader for getting 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,” the Rajasthan deputy CM said.

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“He was commissioned into the IAF only on 29th October 1966,” he explained and attached his father’s certificate.

Malviya’s comments were in connection to Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s reply to the no-confidence motion in Lok Sabha where he said that Indira Gandhi when she was the prime minister, has used the Air Force for attacks on Mizoram. “On March 5, 1966, Congress dropped bombs on helpless citizens in Mizoram through its Air Force. Congress should answer if it was the Air Force of any other country,” Modi had said, blaming successive Congress governments for the mishandling of the northeast.

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