NEW DELHI: Congress leader Rahul Gandhi’s Bharat Jodo Yatra sparked another row after a picture of a ‘Commando’ in Army combat uniform saluting the former party president in Punjab went viral on social media.
In a tweet by the Congress official handle with the caption, “Salute… for courage, restraint, patriotism and passion,” Rahul Gandhi is seen saluting a man in Army combat uniform, wearing medals and a beret with the regimental insignia of The Grenadiers Regiment. The name tag on the uniform identifies the man as ‘Jatender Singh’.
The picture drew condemnation from several users including Army veterans who have noted that the ex-servicemen should not be attending a political event wearing a full uniform.
The man is likely an ex-serviceman, users have noted as ‘Commando’ was phased out by the Army years ago and the shoulder flash of ‘Special Forces’ is currently used, according to a report by The Indian Express.
The Congress, however, has said if an ex-serviceman wearing his combat uniform is condemned, then the same should be done for Prime Minister Narendra Modi. Vice-president of Congress in Nagaland and a former Army officer G K Zhimoni said, “If the veteran wearing combat uniform while meeting Rahul Gandhi is wrong, then PM Modi ji is equally wrong, if not more.”
The Prime Minister’s Office was issued a notice by district court in Uttar Pradesh last year after he wore the Indian Army uniform while interacting with Army personnel during his Kashmir visit on Diwali in 2021.