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Feel Let Down That You Used the Visit for Political Gains: Parrikar Writes to Rahul on Rafale Claim

On Tuesday, Rahul had paid a surprise visit to ailing Goa CM and later at a rally in Kochi claimed that Parrikar had no role in the new deal struck by PM Modi for Rafale jets.


Updated:January 30, 2019, 7:54 PM IST

New Delhi: Goa CM and former defence minister Manohar Parrikar said he "felt let down" by Congress president Rahul Gandhi after the latter used their personal visit to score political points.

On Tuesday, Rahul had paid a surprise visit to ailing Goa CM and later at a rally in Kochi claimed that Parrikar had no role in the new deal struck by PM Modi for Rafale jets.

"I feel let down that you have used this visit for your petty political gains. In the five minutes you spent with me, neither did you mention anything about Rafale, nor did we discuss anything related to it," Parrikar wrote in a letter to Rahul.

Nothing whatsoever about Rafale was even mentioned in your meeting with me, said Parrikar in the letter.

"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 sincerity and purpose of your visit," wrote Parrikar.

"Here am I 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," the letter read.

Top Congress sources told CNN-News18 that Parrikar's letter is not an embarrassment for the party and that it will give a point by point rebuttal.

The BJP rallied behind Parrikar, with the party president Amit Shah leading the charge.

"Dear Rahul Gandhi, you showed how insensitive you are, by lying in the name of a person fighting a disease. The people of India are disgusted by your reckless behaviour. In his trademark style, @manoharparrikar ji sets the record straight," tweeted Amit Shah.

Union Minister Smriti Irani too jumped into the fray.

Rahul Gandhi met Parrikar at his office. Tweeting later, Gandhi said the visit was a personal one to wish Parrikar a speedy recovery.

Later in the day, speaking to booth level workers in Kochi, Rahul said, "Friends, the ex-defence minister Mr Parrikar clearly stated that he has nothing to do with the new deal that was orchestrated by Mr Narendra Modi to benefit Anil Ambani."

Gandhi made the remarks a day after he alleged that the "Goa audio tapes", cited by the Congress to attack the Centre on the Rafale issue, were authentic and that Parrikar was in possession of "explosive secrets" that give him power over Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

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| Edited by: Ashutosh Tripathi
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