Rafale Row: Cong Writes to Prez Kovind, Seeks Security for Goa CM
Three days after it released an audio clip, allegedly of the conversation between two ministers on the Rafale deal, the Goa Pradesh Congress Committee on Saturday, 5 January, wrote a letter to President Ram Nath Kovind, seeking enhanced security cover for Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar.
The Congress claimed that there is a possibility of “threat” to the chief minister, likely in case of an attempt to “obtain” Rafale files.
Congress President Rahul Gandhi attacked the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) in Parliament on 2 January, regarding the Rafale-related audio tape released by Congress spokesperson Randeep Surjewala at a press conference.
In the 1.28-minute-long clip, Goa minister Vishwajit Pratapsingh Rane is purportedly telling another person that Goa Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar had admitted that he had all the files on the Rafale deal in his bedroom.
“The chief minister made a very interesting statement that I have all the information of Rafale in my bedroom. You should actually make a story and you should put it because you should actually check with somebody you are close to in the cabinet. This is something which he said. that means, he is holding them to ransom,” Rane is supposedly heard saying.
Rahul Gandhi Seeks to Play Tape, Jaitley Counters
Gandhi sought to play the tape in Parliament, to which Finance Minister Arun Jaitley retorted that the recording is “false and fabricated.”
“On the last occasion, he (Rahul Gandhi) manufactured a conversation between him and the former French President. Today, he repeats the same. Today, he tried to produce a tape but he is too scared to authenticate it,” Jaitley said.
Parrikar Has Rafale Files in His Bedroom, Claims the Tape
In the clip, a person whom the Congress claims is Rane tells another person, “There was a three-hour Cabinet meeting. The chief minister made a very interesting statement that I have all the information on Rafale in my bedroom.”
While the other person reacts in shock, Rane continues, “I am telling you. Because this is how you know. This is something which he said. That means he is holding them to ransom. He said each and every document of Rafale is with me.”
Tape is Doctored, Inquiry Needed: Rane
However, there was no confirmation if the voice is indeed of Rane’s. The minister hit back at the Congress saying the tape is doctored.
Rane also wrote a letter to Parrikar asking for a thorough inquiry into the matter.
‘A Desperate Attempt to Fabricate Facts’
Goa CM Parrikar, in a tweet, said the audio clip released “is a desperate attempt to fabricate facts after their lies were exposed by the recent Supreme Court verdict on Rafale.”