'Didn't discuss Rafale': Manohar Parrikar slams Rahul Gandhi in letter, accuses him of using visit for petty political gains

A day after Congress president Rahul Gandhi stoked fresh controversy on the Rafale deal by claiming Goa chief minister Manohar Parrikar told him he "had nothing to do with it", the senior Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader penned a letter to the Congress chief accusing him of using his visit for "petty political gains".

Parrikar in the letter claimed he met Rahul for five minutes and didn't discuss anything related to the Rafale deal.

"The Inter Government Agreement (IGA) and the procurement of Rafale are as per Defence Procurement Procedure," the letter read.

On Tuesday, Rahul visited Parrikar in Panaji to wish him a "speedy recovery".

Didnt discuss Rafale: Manohar Parrikar slams Rahul Gandhi in letter, accuses him of using visit for petty political gains

File image of Goa chief minister Manohar Parrikar. News18

Later addressing a party workers' meeting in Kerala, Rahul said: "Friends, the ex-defence minister clearly stated that he has nothing to do with the new deal that was orchestrated by Narendra Modi to benefit Anil Ambani."

Significantly, this visit was made by the Congress chief a day after demanding action against Parrikar for allegedly being in possession of files related to the Rafale fighter deal.

"Thirty days since the Goa Audio Tapes on Rafale were released. No FIR or enquiry ordered. No action against the Minister either! It's obvious that the tapes are authentic and that Goa chief minister Manohar Parrikar is in possession of explosive Rafale secrets, that give him power over the prime minister," Rahul tweeted on Monday.

Chandrakant Kavlekar, a senior Goa Congress leader on Wednesday claimed that the meeting between Rahul and Parrikar lasted five minutes and the issue of 'Rafale audio tapes' was not discussed.

Earlier in January, the Congress had released an audio clip claiming that Parrikar possessed all files related to the jet deal. Congress spokesperson Randeep Singh Surjewala had claimed that in the audio clip, Goa health minister Vishwajit Rane could be heard speaking to another person about the deal.

As per the Congress, in the audio tape, Rane purportedly divulged that Parrikar, who was the defence minister when the Rafale deal was signed in 2016 between India and France, had "all files related to the deal in his bedroom."  Later, Rane hit back at the Congress, asserting that the audio tape was doctored and Parrikar made no such mention about Rafale and its documents.

With inputs from ANI

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Updated Date: Jan 30, 2019 17:45:25 IST

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