Panaji, Jan 30 : Goa Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar on Wednesday rejected Congress president Rahul Gandhis claim that he (Parrikar) had told him that he had “nothing to do” with the new Rafale deal, saying the Congress leader should not “use your visit to an ailing man to feed political opportunism”.
In a strongly-worded letter to the Congress president, Parrikar said, “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 nor did we discuss anything about/related to it.”
Parrikar said that reading media reports covering the visit caused him “distress”.
“It is reported in the media that you have said quoting me that I was nowhere in the process of procuring Rafale nor did I have any information then about it. Nothing whatsoever about Rafale was even mentioned in your meeting with me,” he added.
The letter came after Gandhi publicly claimed after meeting Parrikar on Tuesday that the latter told him he had “nothing to do with the new Rafale deal”.
“Yesterday (Tuesday) without any prior information you called on me and enquired about my health…Paying a courtesy visit and then stooping so low as to make a false statement for petty political gain has raised in my mind questions about the sincerity and purpose of your visit,” Parrikar said.
Reiterating that the Inter Governmental Agreement (IGA) and the procurement of Rafale were in accordance with the Defence Procurement Procedure, Parrikar said, “With deep disappointment, I write to you hoping that you would put out the truth.”