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‘Didn’t discuss Rafale’: Goa CM Manohar Parrikar slams Rahul Gandhi in letter

In the two page letter, Manohar Parrikar clarified that the procurement of Rafale jets was as per the Defence Procurement Procedure.

india Updated: Jan 30, 2019 21:30 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times, New Delhi
Manohar Parrikar,Rafale deal,Rahul gandhi
(ANI Photo)

Goa chief minister Manohar Parrikar on Wednesday accused Congress chief Rahul Gandhi of using his visit on the ailing chief minister for “petty political gains”. Rahul Gandhi had on Tuesday said that the former defence minister had said that “he had nothing to do with the new Rafale deal.”

Rahul Gandhi met Parrikar at the CM’s office in Panaji on Tuesday. The meeting between Gandhi, on a private visit to Goa, and Parrikar, lasted about 10 minutes. It came a day after Gandhi referred to a purported audio tape in which a Goa minister claimed that Parrikar possessed files relating to the Rafale deal.

In his letter on the Goa CM’s official letterhead, Parrikar said that Gandhi had, “without any prior information, called on me and enquired me about my health condition. We have a healthy political tradition in India to rise above bipartisan considerations and wish even opponents a quick recovery from any ailments. I received your visit in that spirit, fighting as I am, with good medical care, a severe ailment. I appreciate your gesture.”

However, in the very next paragraph in the letter, Parrikar writes that the recent media reports covering Rahul Gandhi’s visit to his office has caused him “distress”. The Goa CM said he had read in the media that Rahul Gandhi had quoted him as saying that he was nowhere in the process of procuring Rafale nor did he have any information about it then.

Watch | ‘Manohar Parrikar had nothing to do with new Rafale deal’: Rahul Gandhi

“I feel let down that you have used this visit for your petty political gains. In the 5 minutes you spent with me, neither did you mention anything about Rafale, now did we discuss anything related to it,” Parrikar wrote.

Parrikar went on to clarify that the procurement of the Rafale was as per the Defence Procurement Procedure. “I have said this before and wish to reiterate it again in today’s context too. The fighter aircraft are procured following all stated procedures keeping national security as top priority.”

Parrikar went on to reprimand Rahul Gandhi and said, “Paying a courtesy visit and then stooping so low as to make a false statement for petty political gain has raised, in my mind, questions about the sincerity and purpose of your visit itself.”

“Here am I fighting against a life-threatening illness. Due to my training and ideological strength. I wish to serve Goa and its people against any/all odds. I thought your visit would give me your good wishes in that cause of serving our people. Little did I know that you had other intentions,” Parrikar wrote.

“With deep disappointment, I write to you hoping that you would put out the truth. Kindly do not use your visit to an ailing person to feed political opportunism,” Parrikar wrote.

First Published: Jan 30, 2019 16:58 IST