Rahul, Varun among young MPs to witness army exercise

Last Updated: Tue, Nov 08, 2011 16:30 hrs

New Delhi, Nov 8 (IANS) Congress general secretary Rahul Gandhi and his cousin Varun Gandhi from the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) may be among young MPs to get an opportunity to witness a massive winter war game underway in the Rajasthan desert with the Indian Army drawing up plans for this.

An army officer told reporters here that a proposal to showcase the army's prowess in desert warfare through nearly 50,000 troops and over 250 battle tanks to young MPs had been sent to the defence ministry and a final call is awaited on this.

Apart from the two Gandhis, Congress' Naveen Jindal and Meenakshi Natrajan, Rashtriya Lok Dal's Jayant Chaudhary, Samajwadi Party's Akhilesh Yadav and Biju Janata Dal's Kalikesh Singh Deo could be among the list of young MPs to witness the exercise, the officer said.

The army's Bhopal-based 21 'Sudharshan Chakra' Corps, one of the three strike formations, is holding the exercise that will last till mid-December, as first reported by IANS. The strike corps has its troops and forces spread all the way till southern Rajasthan.

'The idea is to give the young MPs an exposure to the army's capabilities and strengths, and military matters,' the officer said.

The army already has plans to attract young MPs to join the Territorial Army, a reserve force comprising civilians. Former minister of state for defence from the Congress, K.P. Singh Deo, is a retired Territorial Army brigadier.

The army has in recent times honoured leading cricketers, Olympians and film personalities with honorary ranks in the Territorial Army such as Kapil Dev, Mahendra Singh Dhoni, Abhinav Bindra and Mohan Lal.

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