Swaranashree Rao Rajashekar, the principal spokesperson of the Ministry of Defence, has been sent on leave after a controversial tweet from the official Twitter handle of the MoD invited anger from military veterans.
Later, Rajashekar deleted the tweet posted from the official twitter handle of MoD, by saying, "The tweet was inadvertently done and the same is deeply regretted please."
The entire episode happened after former navy chief Arun Prakash commented on the Twitter post showing a military flag on the bonnet of an official car of the Internal Financial Adviser to the Western Command of the Army.
"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," Prakash tweeted.
Responding to the former Navy Chief's comments, Rajashekar, tweeted, "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 (military) gaadis (vehicles)? Not to forget Madam's shopping expedition on government vehicles. And endless parties...who pays for that?".
Rajashekar's response on former navy chief's tweet drew criticism from army veterans.
"This is indeed shameful for @SpokespersonMoD to tweet this to a former Service Chief," said retired Air Vice Marshall Manmohan Bahadur in a Twitter post.
"Is it allowed to be done under Official handle. It is dangerous to have such people to project us & our relationship with others," said another post by retired Lt General K.J. Singh.
"Rather than getting excited over indiscreet tweet of @SpokespersonMoD I would suggest sober reflection; (a) by MoD on state of civil-mil relations & (b) by Military Leadership on the aspersions cast by MoD (IDAS?) civil-servant on personal conduct of Service officers," tweeted former navy chief who did not response on spokesperson's reply.
Colonel Aman Anand, the current Army PRO, has been given the additional responsibility of acting Official Spokesperson of Ministry of Defence Spokesperson.
"Col. Aman Anand, took over as the acting Official Spokesperson of MOD as the Spokesperson proceeds on leave," said MoD in a tweet.
Rajashekar, an officer of Indian Defence Accounts Service (IDAS), 1997 batch was appointed as Official Spokesperson for Ministry of Defence by defence minister Nirmala Sitharaman. She was officially designated as Additional Director General (Media and Communications).