Rajasthan chief minister Ashok Gehlot on Wednesday defended late Congress leader Rajesh Pilot over Bharatiya Janata Party’s claims of him dropping bombs as Indian Air Force pilot on Mizoram in 1966.“Congress leader Shri Rajesh Pilot ji was a brave IAF pilot. By insulting him, the BJP is insulting the sacrifices of the Indian Air Force. The entire country should condemn this act”, Gehlot posted on X (formerly Twitter). Rajesh Pilot is the father of Congress leader Sachin Pilot. During his reply to the no-confidence motion in Lok Sabha last week, Prime Minister Narendra Modi had said the Congress used the IAF to attack the people of Mizoram in 1966.
“The Congress attacked the people of Mizoram with its Air Force. The Congress should answer whether it was the Air of any other country. Were the people of Mizoram not the citizens of my country? Was their security not the responsibility of the country?” Modi had said in the Lok Sabha.As the Congress rushed to defend late prime minister Indira Gandhi over Mizoram, BJP IT cell head Amit Malviya claimed Rajesh Pilot had ‘dropped bombs’ on the north-eastern state in 1966. “Rajesh Pilot and Suresh Kalmadi were flying the Indian Air Force planes which dropped bombs on Mizoram’s capital Aizawl on March 5, 1966. Later, both of them became Congress MPs and later ministers. Indira Gandhi felicitated those conducting airstrikes on fellow citizens in the north east through political opportunities”, the BJP leader had posted on X. Sachin Pilot denied Malviya’s claims, saying his late father drop bombs as IAF pilot, but on erstwhile East Pakistan during the 1971 India-Pakistan war and not on Mizoram. The former Rajasthan deputy CM even shared a certificate of his late father stating that Pilot Senior was commissioned into the IAF on 29th October 1966.