PANAJI/NEW DELHI: Goa minister Vishwajit Rane has termed an audio clip, cited by the Congress to attack the Centre on the Rafale issue, as "doctored" and told BJP president Amit Shah Wednesday that he has asked the state government to order an inquiry into the matter.
Speaking to reporters in Panaji, he accused the Congress of falsely implicating him in the controversy surrounding Rafale deal through the "fake audio".
Rane said he has asked Parrikar for a police inquiry into the matter to bring the accused to the book. The response from Rane, a BJP leader, came hours after the Congress demanded answers from Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Parrikar's purported claim that he had a file on Rafale and asked if this was the reason why a joint parliamentary committee probe was not being ordered.
Congress chief spokesperson Randeep Surjewala Wednesday came out with a conversation purportedly Rane and another person to back his allegations.
According to the Congress, during the conversation Rane can be heard saying that during a Goa Cabinet meeting last week Parrikar stated that he had an entire file and all documents relating to the Rafale deal lying in his bedroom.
"Today's voice note which is being circulated and talked about is absolutely absurd and illogical," Rane told reporters in Panaji.
In a letter to Shah, Rane said he never had any conversation with anyone on this Rafale issue.
He also said, "This is a doctored audio and have never had any discussion with this regard on this subject with anyone."
According to BJP sources, Rane has said, "I have also sent a letter to Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar asking for an immediate police inquiry and criminal investigation to expose the mischievous elements."
"I would like to inform the chief minister that there is someone playing mischief and there should be inquiry in this matter and such mischievous elements need to be brought to the book," he said in the letter to Parrikar.
Rane, a former Congress leader who joined the BJP after 2017 assembly elections and was made a minister, said, "From the time I have joined the BJP the Congress has been targeting me."
He claimed that the Congress had always considered him as a "big threat".
"The voice notes which they are circulating has been made up by the Congress," he alleged.
He said the Congress was also "after him" when two MLAs of the party, Subhash Shirodkar and Dayanand Sopte, had resigned and crossed over to the BJP in October last year.
"Let them (the Congress) come out with the source (of the conversation)," he said.
"This is absolutely nonsense. There has never been a discussion on this subject," Rane said.
He said the Congress has started the New Year by creating a controversy by targeting Parrikar, who is not in good health.