A Rafale fighter jet, manufactured by Dassault Aviation SA in Paris, France. (Photographer: Chris Ratcliffe/Bloomberg)

Congress Demands Answers From PM On Parrikar’s Purported Claim On Rafale File

The Indian National Congress demanded answers from Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Goa Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar's purported claim that he had a file on Rafale "lying in his bedroom" and asked if this was the reason why a joint parliamentary committee probe was not being ordered.

Congress chief spokesperson Randeep Surjewala came out with a conversation purportedly between Goa minister Vishwajit Rane and another person.

Rane purportedly can be heard saying that during a Goa cabinet meeting last week Parrikar stated he had an entire file and all documents relating to the Rafale deal lying in his bedroom, Surjewala claimed, playing the conversation for the media outside Parliament.

He quoted Rane as saying, "The chief minister made a very interesting statement, that I have all the information of Rafale in my bedroom...that means he is holding them to ransom. He said it is in my bedroom here only in my flat, each and every document on Rafale."

However, there was no confirmation on whether it was the voice of Rane in the audio. The identity of the other person was also not ascertained. The BJP has alleged that the Congress is only "peddling lies" on the Rafale issue.

"Now it is clear that the chowkidaar is chor (the watchman is a thief)," Surjewala told reporters in an apparent reference to Modi. "Now the prime minister should answer. The country is demanding answers as to what secrets in the Rafale “scam” are lying inside Manohar Parrikar's flat and bedroom," he claimed, asking why is the “chowkidaar” fearing Parrikar.

"He only does captive interviews and is not used to answering questions from the media. What is the hitch in making public all the documents," he asked.

"New evidence busts ‘chowkidar's worst kept secrets. What is Modi government hiding... Is this the reason why a JPC probe is not being ordered," Surjewala added.

"Because, secrets are all recorded in the files and the day those files are out, as stated by and threatened by Parrikar himself, then what we have always said will be proved. That Rafale is the biggest scam of India and the person accountable for it is the prime minister himself," he told reporters

He said it has now become necessary that the files of Rafale with Parrikar need to come out in public domain.

Also read: Rafale Deal: Yashwant Sinha, Arun Shourie Move SC Seeking Review