NEW DELHI/MUMBAI: The Congress on Wednesday cited an audio tape to claim that former defence minister and Goa chief minister Manohar Parrikar was in possession of papers related to the Rafale fighter jet deal and used the conversation to claim that Prime Minister Narendra Modi was hiding facts from the nation. Releasing a videotape of an alleged conversation between Goa minister Vishwajit Rane and an unidentified person, Congress spokesperson Randeep Surjewala quoted Rane saying that Parrikar had claimed to have “all the information of Rafale in my bedroom.”
“Because this is how you know, this is something which he said that means he is holding them to ransom,” Surjewala said citing the tape. He claimed that Modi was indeed responsible for the alleged scam in the deal and said the people of the nation want to know what is in those files. Surjewala also said if the government was confident there was nothing wrong in the deal why was it shying away from a probe into the matter by a Joint Parliamentary Committee (JPC) which will establish the truth.
“The manner and fashion in which every procedure was bypassed, every law was given a go by. The benchmark price was changed by the Prime Minister against the objection of the Defence Ministry, the Defence Acquisition Council and the Defence Audit Wing.
We have stated so in the past that the country lost 3 billion Euros on account thereof. It is all recorded in the files and those files are with Mr. Parrikar. Why are those files being hidden,” he said.
Responding to the allegations, Parrikar said earlier in the day, “The audio clip released by the Congress party is a desperate attempt to fabricate facts after their lies were exposed by the recent Supreme Court verdict on Rafale.” “No such discussion ever came up during [the] cabinet or any other meeting. The Congress is only peddling lies now,” he added.