Congress President Rahul Gandhi is facing severe criticism for extracting political mileage from his recent visit to Manohar Parrikar. Mr. Parrikar accused Mr Gandhi of lying and making false claims. It went too far that Congress chief Rahul Gandhi in a Facebook post had to issue a detailed denial.
Congress President Rahul Gandhi on Facebook:
My dear Parrikar Ji,
I am disturbed to hear about a letter which you have supposedly written to me, but instead leaked to the press before I have had a chance to read it.
Respectfully, my visit to you was strictly personal and driven purely by my empathy for your situation. You will no doubt recall that I also called you when you were undergoing treatment in the United States to enquire after your health and wish you well.
However Parrikar Ji, regardless of my visit, I am a democratic representative, elected to serve the Indian people, and as such I reserve the absolute right to attack the corrupt PM on his blatant dishonesty in the RAFALE deal.
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.
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.
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.
Normally, I would have refrained from this exchange. Unfortunately, your leaked letter, has forced me to clarify my position on this unfortunate and unnecessary controversy.
Just as I did when we met yesterday, I once again wish you a speedy recovery and I hope to see you again in the near future.
Chek out Rahul Gandhi’s FB Post here
Here is the whole matter
On Thursday (31 January 2019), Mr Gandhi had visited Mr Parrikar, who is battling a pancreatic ailment. In the evening, and later on Wednesday, Mr Gandhi said he had “discussions” with the Goa Chief Minister, who, before the state assignment, was handling the defence portfolio at the Centre.
“Parrikar-ji told me that when the deal was changed, the Prime Minister did not get the country’s defence minister on board,” Mr Gandhi said during a party meeting at Delhi’s Talkatora stadium today.
Within a few hours, Mr Parrikar wrote to the Congress chief, accusing him of lying. The Rafale fighter jet deal, he wrote, had not even come up during their private conversation, Mr Parrikar wrote.
Goa CM Manohar Parrikar writes to Congress President Rahul Gandhi, writes “I feel let down that you have used this visit for your petty political gains. In the 5 minutes you spent with me, neither did you mention anything about Rafale, now did we discuss anything related to it.’ pic.twitter.com/HbUX6yiDk3
— ANI (@ANI) January 30, 2019
“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,” wrote Mr Parrikar, adding such tactics should not be adopted against a person “fighting a life-threatening illness”.
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