India’s defence spokesperson sent on leave after twitter controversy


Swaranashree Rao Rajashekar, official spokesperson of India’s ministry of defence landed in the controversy on Friday over a controversial tweet criticizing use of Jawans and government vehicles for personal work by military officers and their families.  

Later the officer apologised for what she described as an ‘inadvertent tweet in response to a former chief of the Indian Navy, criticising the use of government vehicles by defence officials.

Screenshot of the controversial tweet. (Web Extract).

The tweet was later deleted, however, the screenshots of the deleted tweet have already caused a lot of damage to the official position she was holding.

Later on Friday, defence ministry announced that public relation officer of Indian Army, Colonel Aman Anand has been designated as the acting official spokesperson.

The controversy broke out after the spokesperson wrote the tweet as a reply to a post by former Navy chief Admiral Arun Prakash.

On Wednesday, Prakash had retweeted a photograph showing an official car with a flag on the bonnet and a sign saying “IFA (WC)” – Internal Financial Adviser to the Western Command of the Army.

Admiral (retd) Arun Prakash tweeted: “Even if misuse of an Army Command’s insignia by a civilian is not a cognizable offence, the person needs to be reprimanded by the GOC-in-C whose ‘financial adviser’ he is.”

The ministry spokesperson replied on Friday morning, according to screenshots:

“What about misuse of jawans in your residence during an officer’s tenure sir? And how about children being picked up and dropped to school in Fauji gaadis (military vehicles)? Not to forget Madam’s shopping expedition on government vehicles. And endless parties…who pays for that?”

However, when these tweets caused a backlash on social media then after an hour or so the officer backtracked: “The tweet was inadvertently done and the same is deeply regretted please.”

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