Panaji: Goa Chief Minister Pramod Sawant said on Friday that former Congress President Rahul Gandhi tried to create unnecessary “tamasha” (ruckus) over the Rafale deal, and the Supreme Court’s rejection of a review petition questioning the agreement proved that there was no substance to the allegations.
“The Supreme Court has proved now that there was no substance to the allegations. Rahul Gandhi had unnecessarily made an issue out of it for his own advantage and had made a ‘tamasha’ here,” Sawant told reporters.
“Goans and people across the country know how clean our then Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar was. His contribution to the state and the nation during his small tenure of two and a half years as Defence Minister, there has been no stain on his political career,” Sawant also said.
The “tamasha” which Sawant referred to was in connection with Gandhi’s controversial “courtesy” visit to Goa this January to meet the late Parrikar, who was then ailing with a terminal disease.
Soon after the visit, the BJP had accused the former Congress President of trying to use the courtesy call to rake up the Rafale controversy in the run up to the general elections.
On Thursday, Parrikar’s elder son Utpal Parrikar also hailed the Supreme Court verdict, while accusing Gandhi of playing political games by taking advantage of his ailing father.
“#RafaleVerdict is out and I hope this is a good learning experience for @RahulGandhi . I can give benefit of doubt that he did all this as part of Ill-planned political game, just the way he used visit to my ailing father for politics,” Utpal tweeted after the Supreme Court on Thursday, turned down the review petition seeking a probe into the multi-billion rupee Rafale fighter jet deal with the French government.
Parrikar, who served as Defence Minister from 2014-17, also served as Goa Chief Minister on four occasions, before he died in March this year following a prolonged battle with cancer.