Hitting out at NCP chief Sharad Pawar for saying his father Manohar Parrikar quit as Defence Minister due to the Rafale deal, former Goa chief minister’s son Utpal on Monday said the remark was “insensitive” and was made for “political gains”.
“This is yet another unfortunate and insensitive attempt to invoke my father’s name to push blatant falsehood for political gains. Being a senior and respected politician, the people of India did not expect such a statement from you Pawar saheb,” he said in a letter to the NCP supremo.
Addressing reporters in Kolhapur on Saturday, Pawar had said, “The Rafale deal was not acceptable to Parrikar. He, therefore, quit as Defence minister and returned to Goa.”
Utpal said his father was one of the chief architects of the Rafale fighter aircraft acquisition deal and will be remembered for such historic decisions.
“Many historic decisions were taken by him for which he will be remembered forever. One of them was the Rafale fighter aircraft acquisition deal of which he was one of the chief architects,” he said.
Parrikar, who took over as defence minister in November 2014, left the post after he was sworn in as Goa chief minister in 2017. He died on March 17 after a long battle with pancreatic cancer.
In his letter to Pawar, Utpal further said it was an insult to the love between the people of Goa and Parrikar to falsely suggest that the former CM came back due to the Rafale acquisition.
“It is extremely distressing to see you becoming part of a malicious misinformation campaign that seeks to hinder the strengthening of our armed forces,” he said.
“It is sad that those who never bothered to inquire about my father when he was putting up a brave fight against illness have begun invoking his name to indulge in political mudslinging,” the letter mentioned.