Goa: The ailing chief minister of Goa, Manohar Parrikar on Wednesday slammed Congress chief Rahul Gandhi for visiting him on the pretext of enquiring about his health, but later using the visit for “petty political gains.”
Lashing at the Congress chief of lying, the Goa chief minister maintained that the subject of the Rafale deal had not even come up during their private conversation. The Congress chief had met the Goa Chief Minister, who is suffering from a serious ailment, on Tuesday.
He later said during a meeting with booth-level party workers in Kochi that Parrikar had clearly denied any involvement in the Rafale fighter jet deal, allegedly “orchestrated” by Prime Minister Narendra Modi to “benefit” Reliance Group chairman Anil Ambani.
In a letter, addressed to Gandhi, the Goa chief minister Parrikar said that he had received Gandhi in a “healthy political spirit” despite the fact that he was fighting a severe ailment. “However, reading media reports covering your visit to my office has caused me distress. I feel let down that you have used this visit for petty political gains…” he wrote.
The Goa Chief Minister then went on to claim that there was no discussion on politics during their time together. “In the five minutes you spent with me, you neither mentioned anything about Rafale nor discussed anything related to it. Nothing whatsoever about Rafale was even mentioned,” he clarified in the letter.
“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,” he said, adding that such tactics should not be adopted against a person “fighting a life-threatening illness”.
The Goa chief minister also reiterated in his letter that the aircraft were bought as per the Defence Procurement Procedure. “I have said this before and wish to reiterate it in today’s context too. The fighter aircraft are being procured by following all stated procedures and keeping national security as the top priority,” he said.