New Delhi: While BJP tore into Rahul Gandhi’s claim about former Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar’s statement that Prime Minister changed the Rafale fighter jet deal without informing him, the Congress on Wednesday rose in defence of the party president and said the saffron party was twisting facts for political benefits.
Talking to ANI, Congress spokesperson Priyanka Chaturvedi said Rahul had made the comment about Parrikar’s lack of involvement in Rafale deal based on various interviews which Parrikar gave to media when he was the defence minister.
Parrikar, the Goa Chief Minister had slammed Rahul Gandhi and said he felt let down that the Congress president used the courtesy visit to him for ‘petty political games’.
In a letter to the Congress President, Parrikar asserted that the Rafale issue was not even mentioned during the five minutes that Gandhi spent at his office yesterday.
“I find it extremely unfortunate that the BJP for their own political benefits is trying to connect a personal visit to the comments in Rahul Gandhi’s speech. Rahul’s comments were in context to various interviews that Mr Manohar Parrikar as a defence minister had given to the media,” Chaturvedi said.
“It is a known fact the prime minister had chosen to take his friend along to sign the Paris (Rafale) deal, while Mr Manohar Parrikar was in Goa. It is a fact that the defence minister did not know that a deal was worked overnight. It is also a fact that Mr Manohar Parrikar still does not have answers as to how and why this deal was signed and under what compulsion,” she added.
Rahul, who was on a private visit to Goa, met the ailing Chief Minister on Tuesday. He later claimed that during his meeting, Parrikar “clearly denied” any involvement in the new Rafale fighter jet deal “orchestrated” by Prime Minister Narendra Modi to “benefit” Reliance Group chairman Anil Ambani.