The Congress Wednesday sought answers from Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Goa Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar’s purported claim of possessing a file on Rafale “lying in his bedroom” and asked if this was the reason why a joint parliamentary committee probe was not being ordered.
Congress chief spokesperson Randeep Surjewala released an audio clip of a conversation that allegedly took place between Vishwajit Rane and another person in which the Goa minister referred to the claim. Rane was heard saying that during a Goa cabinet meeting last week, Parrikar stated that he had “each and every document” on Rafale.
Parrikar hit back saying it was a “desperate attempt” to fabricate facts. “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 Cabinet or any other meeting,” he tweeted.
However, there is no confirmation whether the voice is of Rane in the audio. The identity of the other person also remains unknown.
Meanwhile, Rane wrote to BJP President Amit Shah claiming the audio is doctored and he never had any discussion on this subject with anyone, news agency ANI reported.
Surjewala played the audio conversation for the media outside Parliament on Wednesday. “The Chief Minister made a very interesting statement, that I have all the information on Rafale in my bedroom. This means, he’s holding that to ransom. He said each and every document is with me. Whether he wanted to inform somebody in Delhi, I could not understand,” Surjewala quoted Rane as saying in the audio clip.
After playing the audio, Surjewala said the Modi should answer in relation to what “secrets” are lying inside Parrikar’s flat.
“Now it is clear that the ‘chowkidaar is chor‘ (the watchman is a thief). Now the prime minister should answer. New evidence busts ‘chowkidar’s’ worst kept secrets. What is Modi government hiding… Is this the reason why a JPC probe is not being ordered,” Surjewala asked.
Aiming at Modi, Surjewala claimed that secrets are all recorded in the files and the day the files are exposed, it would be proven that “Rafale is the biggest scam of India and person accountable for it is the prime minister himself.”
“There was corruption and wrongdoing in the Rafale scam and it is all recorded in the files. Those files are with Mr Parrikar. Why are they being hidden? If Mr Modi has nothing to hide, then why is Mr Parrikar keeping those files in his bedroom and threatening everybody that nobody can do anything against him, for he has the Rafale files,” he alleged.
Surjewala said it has now become necessary that the files of Rafale with Parrikar need to come out in public domain.