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BJP leaders, Naidu’s office send out Air Force Day greetings with jets India doesn’t have

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Union minister Piyush Goyal and V-P Venkaiah Naidu’s secretariat used images of Lockheed Martin’s F-16, an aircraft the Indian Air Force has never possessed.

New Delhi: Bharatiya Janata Party leaders as well as the secretariat of the Vice-President of India have sent out greetings for the 86th Air Force day using images of fighter jets India doesn’t own.

The BJP’s official Twitter handle, Union Railways Minister Piyush Goyal, Jammu and Kashmir assembly Speaker Nirmal Singh, the secretariat of the Vice-President, as well as the Central Industrial Security Force made this faux pas.

LiveFist, a defence news portal, pointed out these mistakes out on Twitter.

While Goyal and the Vice-President’s secretariat tweeted images of Lockheed Martin’s F-16, Nirmal Singh sent out the image of an F-15 aircraft. The Vice-President’s secretariat and the BJP’s official handle later deleted their tweets. At the time of publishing this story, Goyal and Singh’s tweets had not been deleted.

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Not the first time

This is not the first time that non-Indian Air Force aircraft have been embedded in celebratory tweets of the BJP and its leaders.

On the second anniversary of the surgical strikes (Parakram Diwas), the official handle of the Ministry of Defence had tweeted a video which featured F-16 aircraft. Once this was pointed out, the ministry deleted the tweet and apologised.

Railways Minister Goyal, who is quite active on social media, has also celebrated the Narendra Modi government’s achievements with incorrect images in the past.

In August last year, he tweeted that the government had installed LED lights on 50,000 km of Indian roads, but the image wasn’t from India. This year too, while trying to talk up the Prime Minister’s efforts to bring electricity to Indian villages, the minister had used an old image from NASA.

Lockheed Martin, a premier American defence and aerospace technology firm, has recently joined hands with Tata Advanced Systems to produce the F-16 aircraft’s wings in India. However, India hasn’t signed any deal for its jets yet.

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