Goa Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar has rejected Congress President Rahul Gandhi’s claims attributed to him about Prime Minister Narendra Modi on the controversial Rafale deal.
In a two-page letter, Parrikar, who is currently undergoing treatment for pancreatic cancer, said that he was let down by Gandhi. He wrote, “Yesterday, without any prior information, you called on me and enquired me about my health conditions. We had a healthy political tradition in India to rise above bipartisan consideration and wish even opponents a quick recovery from any ailments….However, reading media reports covering your visit to my office has caused me distress.”
The letter also added, “I feel let down that you have used this visit for your petty political gains. In the five minutes you spent with me, neither did you mention anything about Rafale, now did we discuss anything related to it.”
The Goa chief minister also urged Gandhi to ‘put out the truth’ in public domain considering his ailing condition. He wrote, “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. 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’s strongly-worded letter came after Gandhi on Wednesday made a huge claim by saying that the former had told him that Prime Minister Narendra Modi did not consult him while changing the Rafale deal. Gandhi on Tuesday had met the ailing Goa Chief Minister, who held the country’s defence portfolio when Modi had singed the controversial Rafale deal with France.
Gandhi had told an audience, “Main kal Parrikar ji se mila tha. Parrikar ji ne swayam kaha tha ki deal badalte seamay PM ne Hindustan ke Defence Minister se nahi poocha tha. (I had met Parrikar ji. He himself told me that the PM did not consult him while changing the (Rafale) deal.”