Congress president Rahul Gandhi on Wednesday wrote back to ailing Goa Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar, saying that he has not shared any details of their meeting and that he reserves “the absolute right to attack the corrupt PM” over the Rafale deal.
The Congress chief insisted that his visit was “strictly personal” and “purely driven by empathy” of his situation.
“I have not shared any details of my conversation with you when we met in Goa yesterday. In my two speeches since we met, I have referred to what is already in the public domain,” Gandhi wrote in his Facebook post.
His response came hours after Parrikar accused Gandhi of using his courtesy visit to him for “petty political gains”, asserting that there was no mention of the Rafale issue in their five-minute meeting.
Stating that he understands the “immense pressure” Parrikar was under after the meeting, Gandhi said the BJP leader’s “leaked letter” has forced himself to clarify his position.
“Parrikar Ji, I empathise with your situation. I understand the immense pressure you are under after our meeting yesterday. Pressure that has forced you to take the highly unusual step of demonstrating your loyalty to the PM and his cronies by attacking me in this uncharacteristic manner,” he said.
Parrikar’s missive came a day after Gandhi told party workers in Kochi that Parrikar had stated that he has nothing to do with the “new deal orchestrated by Mr Narendra Modi”. However, the Congress leader had not clarified whether the issue was discussed during their meeting.
In the letter, Parrikar asked Gandhi not to use his visit to an ailing person to “feed political opportunism”, saying that paying a courtesy visit and then stooping so low to make a false statement for petty political gains has raised in his mind questions about sincerity and purpose of the visit.
He said he felt let down that Gandhi used this visit for his petty political gains as the five minutes they spent together, neither did the Congress president said anything about Rafale nor did they discuss anything related to it.
“Here I am fighting against a life-threatening illness. Due to my training and ideological strength, I wish to serve Goa and its people against any/all odds. I thought your visit would give me your good wishes in that cause of serving our people. Little did I know that you had other intentions,” Parrikar wrote, asking Gandhi to put forth the truth about their visit.