The war of words between Goa Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar and Congress President Rahul Gandhi intensified late Wednesday after Gandhi responded to Parrikar’s scathing letter accusing the former of using a courtesy visit for political gains.
Gandhi took to social media tweeting, “I totally empathise with Parrikar Ji's situation & wish him well. He's under immense pressure from the PM after our meeting in Goa and needs to demonstrate his loyalty by attacking me.”
I totally empathise with Parrikar Ji's situation & wish him well. He's under immense pressure from the PM after our meeting in Goa and needs to demonstrate his loyalty by attacking me.— Rahul Gandhi (@RahulGandhi) January 30, 2019
Attached is the letter I've written him. pic.twitter.com/BQ6V6Zid8m
“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 said in a letter.
The former defence minister fired the first salvo slamming Rahul Gandhi on Wednesday in a letter stating that the two did not discuss the Rafale deal during a courtesy call Gandhi made to Parrikar’s office on Tuesday.
“In the 5 minutes you spent with me, neither did you mention anything about Rafale, nor did we discuss anything about/related to it. Nothing whatsoever about Rafale was even mentioned in your meeting with me,” Parrikar had written in a letter that was widely reported.
“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 itself,” Parrikar further added.
In response Gandhi referred to an incident from April 2015. Below is an extract from his letter.
“It is a fact that in April 2015, while you were inaugurating a fish market in Goa, PM Modi announced the RAFALE deal in France with the then French President, Hollande. It is also a fact that you clearly stated to the press that you had no idea about the new deal engineered by the PM. This has been widely reported in all sections of the media."
"Again, it is a fact that there is an audio recording of your own Cabinet colleague in Goa, claiming you told ministers in a cabinet meeting that you have the RAFALE papers in your "bed room", implying that you have power over PM Modi and his cronies.”
Rahul Gandhi had paid a visit to Parrikar office on Tuesday and tweeted that it was a personal visit to wish him a speedy recovery. Following the visit he addressed booth level party workers in Kochi where he made the following claim.
Gandhi claimed Parrikar admitted that the prime minister did not consult the defence minister while changing terms of the deal. But he did not specify when Parrikar supposedly made the admission.
#WATCH Delhi: Congress President Rahul Gandhi says "Main kal Parrikar ji se mila tha. Parrikar ji ne swayam kaha tha ki deal badalte seamay PM ne Hindustan ke Defence Minister se nahi poocha tha." pic.twitter.com/adgAV0SKhU— ANI (@ANI) January 30, 2019