With no leads in the search for the missing transport aircraft AN-32, the Congress has lapped up an opportunity to play politics over the matter.
The aircraft had gone missing on Monday and a massive search operation is in effect to locate it. However, Congress has attacked the Centre blaming it for the loss of the aircraft.
Congress spokesperson Randeep Surjewala in a tweet demanding to know why the AN-32 plane was travelling on the treacherous terrain while there are other aircrafts available. It also asked why the Centre did not allot sufficient defence budget to replace the AN-32 fleet.
Taking to Twitter he posted links of news items on the missing aircraft and asked:
"The Government and Defence Ministry must also answer-:
1. Why was the AN-32 flying on that treacherous terrain when we have a better aircraft to fly on that route.
2. Why has the Govt not allocated sufficient defence budget to replace the AN-32 fleet?
3. Despite a similar accident earlier of losing an AN-32 aircraft en route to Andaman and Nicobar islands & which was not tracked, why have mitigating measures not been taken by Defence Ministry?"
The Antonov AN-32 with 13 personnel including seven officers and six air warriors on board went missing in Arunachal Pradesh after getting air-borne from Assam's Jorhat.
The aircraft took off from Jorhat at 12:25 pm and was headed for Menchuka Advance Landing Ground (ALG) in Arunachal Pradesh near China border. The last contact between the aircraft and ground agencies took place at 1 pm on June 3.
The last contact between the aircraft and ground agencies took place at 1 pm.
The Soviet-era aircraft was inducted in the Air Force in the 1980s and has been undergoing upgrades.
Three years ago, on July 22, 2016, an airborne AN-32 aircraft had gone missing with 29 people on board. The aircraft was travelling from Chennai to Port Blair in Andaman and Nicobar when it went missing over the Bay of Bengal.