Days after a massive controversy erupted over Rajiv Gandhi’s ‘Luxury Trip’ to Lakshadweep islands onboard INS Virat in 1987, yet another sensational disclosure has marred Rajiv’s image. Former Karnataka DGP revealed how the former Prime Minister allegedly broke protocol while he was campaigning in Karnataka’s Gulbarga district in 1985.
In his book called as ‘Corridors of Intelligence’ DV Guruprasad reveals how the then Prime Minister drove a VIP vehicle and overtook a slower moving escort car which was ahead of him. This allegedly is an instance of departure from protocol by a Prime Minister.
Here are the excerpts of what the fomer Karnataka intel chief has revealed in his book. ‘As the VIP vehicle started moving, I noticed that the Prime Minister himself was sitting on the driver’s seat. The PM had become impatient and started honking furiously. PM overtook the pilot vehicle and started going ahead. I was worried because this was against the security drill and the PM did not know the road.’
While speaking to media, the former IPS officer revealed the following startling details.
‘In 1985 Rajiv Gandhi came to Gulbarga for assembly elections. He was supposed to go back to Hyderabad in a helicopter. But since it was late, Rajiv’s helicopter could not take off. He had to go back by car. So we hurried and fixed a VIP vehicle for him and I was asked to escort the vehicle. He was driving a private car and as you all know during elections, they cannot use their official vehicle. A private car was arranged for him and I found out the Prime Minister was at the wheel. When the pilot vehicle of the police department could not drive fast enough, the Prime Minister overtook the pilot vehicle and I was very worried, because I think it is a security breach. The Intelligence Bureaus officers were there for VIP security and they should have cautioned him not to drive the vehicle, but nonetheless..He had just taken over as the Prime Minister of the country a few weeks back. He was impatient that the police vehicle which was ahead of him was driving very slow. As you know, the vehicles we had were very old Ambassador cars. They could not move fast enough. He had to reach Hyderabad and that is the reason why he was impatient. Subsequently, at the Andhra border, he did not drive the car. He sat at the back seat of a Andhra govt. car and went away.’
These revelations are certainly interesting, if not controversial. However, what remains to be seen is if this act was indeed a breach of protocol. As of now, neither the ministry of Home Affairs nor the IB have reacted to this news report. If these claims are indeed true, then it shows a breach of protocol by one of India’s most admired political leaders.