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  India   All India  31 Jan 2019  Don’t stoop so low: Manohar Parrikar writes to Rahul Gandhi

Don’t stoop so low: Manohar Parrikar writes to Rahul Gandhi

THE ASIAN AGE.
Published : Jan 31, 2019, 6:19 am IST
Updated : Jan 31, 2019, 6:19 am IST

Officer on special duty to Mr Parrikar, Prasanna Karthik had earlier accused the Congress president of being a “compulsive liar”.

Goa chief minister Manohar Parrikar (Photo: ANI | Twitter)
 Goa chief minister Manohar Parrikar (Photo: ANI | Twitter)

New Delhi: Hitting hard at Congress president Rahul Gandhi for visiting him on the pretext of enquiring about his health but later use it for “petty political gains,” ailing Goa chief minister Manohar Parrikar on Wednesday asserted that there was no mention of the Rafale issue in their five-minute meeting. Mr Gandhi, who paid a “courtesy visit” to Mr Parrikar on Tuesday, told his partymen in Kochi hours later that the former defence minister clearly stated that he had nothing to do with the deal that was “orchestrated” by Prime Minister Narendra Modi to “benefit” Anil Ambani.

In a letter to Mr Gandhi, Mr Parrikar asked him 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 the sincerity and purpose of the visit.

“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 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,” Mr Parrikar wrote, adding that subsequent media reports on the Rafale deal had caused him “distress”.

He said he felt let down that Mr Gandhi used the visit for his petty political gains as in the five minutes they spent together, neither did the Congress president say anything about Rafale nor did they discuss anything related to it.

The Goa chief minister noted that Mr Gandhi had called on him Tuesday without any prior information and said he received the Congress president in the spirit of India’s healthy political tradition of rising above bipartisan considerations and wishing even opponents a quick recovery from any ailment.

Asserting that the fighter jets were procured following all stated procedures keeping national security a top priority, Mr Parrikar said, “The inter government agreement (IGA) and the procurement of Rafale are as per defence procurement procedure. I have said this before and wish to reiterate it again in today’s context too.”

The former defence minister’s letter was quickly followed by a caustic remark by BJP president Amit Shah who ripped into Mr Gandhi, charging him with “lying” in the name of a person fighting a disease and added that people of India are “disgusted by your reckless behaviour.”

Officer on special duty to Mr Parrikar, Prasanna Karthik had earlier accused the Congress president of being a “compulsive liar”. “He came saying that he wants to convey his and his mother’s wishes for a speedy recovery. The chief minister met him out of decency. Now he shamelessly lies about him — a person who is fighting cancer without compromising on his commitments to his people. Disgusting,” he tweeted.

Goa minister for animal husbandry Mauvin Godinho voiced similar criticism, saying that Mr Gandhi should not try to gain political mileage from personal meetings.

Tags: manohar parrikar, rahul gandhi
Location: India, Delhi, New Delhi