'Russia-Ukraine War Stopped For 4.5hrs After PM Modi Called...': Rajnath Singh On Evacuating Indian Students

Singh claims that the war was 'stopped' for 4.5 hours to allow more than 20 thousand Indian students to be evacuated from Ukraine safely.

Rajnath Singh

Defence Minister Rajnath Singh on Monday during an election rally spoke about the time when Indian students were brought back from war-torn Ukraine in 2022 as he claimed that it was possible after Prime Minister Narendra Modi had a telephonic conversation with the leaders of Russia and Ukraine.

Singh claims that the war was 'stopped' for 4.5 hours to allow more than 20 thousand Indian students to be evacuated from Ukraine safely.

Rajnath Singh on Monday addressing an election rally in Jammu and Kashmir's Kathua when he said, “...There is a war going on between Russia and Ukraine. Many Indian students were studying there. Missiles were being fired from Russia as well as Ukraine and a large number of people were being killed... Our Prime Minister spoke to the Presidents of Russia, Ukraine and America.”

Singh then continued to explain that PM Modi's conversation with the presidents of countries led to the smooth evacuation of the Indian students from the foreign land.

Singh reportedly said, "The war was stopped for 4.5 hours and 22,500 of our students came to India from Ukraine."

What has the Centre officially said?

The ministry of external affairs has rejected Singh's claims that the war was 'stopped' for the evacuation of Indian students, MEA spokesperson Arindam Bagchi reportedly said, “We got specific inputs that this is a route that is available... we conveyed that to our citizens, and I am happy that many could make it.”

He then added, "Extrapolating that to say that somebody is holding off bombing or this is something we were coordinating is absolutely inaccurate."

Bharatiya Janata Party has used this point of holding off war for India even in election campaign advertisements.

The rescue mission has been consistently been used by BJP leaders in their election campaigns to garner support, whereas the opposition regarded it as mere propaganda.

In 2022, India carried out Operation Ganga to evacuate students who were stranded. From the end of February to the beginning of March, numerous students came back from Ukraine using neighboring countries like Romania, Hungary, Poland, Moldova, and Slovakia.

Social media discourse on BJP's ad campaigns

A recent BJP advertisement enacted the incident of bringing back Indian students from war-torn Ukraine where the character of one of the students said to her parents that PM Modi 'stopped the war' for their evacuation, in Hindi the person said, "war rukwadi papa".

This eventually became a viral memefest with several social media users taking a swipe at the BJP government and also using it in other context.

Opposition parties like Congress and AAP also joined the bandwagon as Rahul Gandhi called PM Modi "Papa of Propaganda".

AAP also used a clip of the BJP ad campaign and placed it with citizens criticising the BJP government and raising questions about the authenticity of the claim.