Congress says Rafale files with Parrikar, wants them made public
New Delhi: Releasing an audio file purportedly featuring Goa Minister Vishwajit Rane claiming that Goa Chief Minister and former Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar had all the files on the Rafale deal, the Congress on Wednesday demanded that these be made public.
The Congress asked Prime Minister Narendra Modi to submit all the documents related to the purchase of the fighter jets from France to a Joint Parliamentary Committee (JPC) for a probe.
Releasing the audio of a telephonic conversation between Health Minister Rane and another person whose identity was kept anonymous, Congress chief spokesperson Randeep Surjewala asked Modi to come clean on the deal and make public the files which Parrikar "is using to threaten the Centre and the BJP".
"Goa Minister Rane has made sensational revelations that all the Rafale files and notings are with Parrikar. Rane has unravelled everything behind the Rafale deal. If Modi has nothing to hide, then why those files are in Parrikar's bedroom which he is using to ensure that nobody does anything to him (Parrikar)," said Surjewala.
In the audio file which Surjewala played before mediapersons, a person claimed to be Rane by the Congress can be heard saying: "The Chief Minister makes one interesting statement. That I have all the information of Rafale in my bedroom.
"He said it's in my bedroom .. here only in the flat.. Each and every document of Rafale is with me... that means he is holding them to ransom," Rane was heard saying in the conversation which Surjewala claimed took place after a cabinet meeting of Goa last week.
Reiterating the Congress allegation that the the Rafale deal was "India's biggest defence scam", Surjewala demanded to know why the files were with Parrikar and asked if Modi was "afraid" of the Goa Chief Minister.
"Modi says there are no personal allegation against him in the Rafale deal, but this audio is an evidence of his culpability which was earlier established by former French President Francois Hollande who had told a French media about PM Modi securing the deal for a private entity.
"Why is the Prime Minister afraid of a JPC? Is it because he knows that all the corruption behind the deal will come out?" asked Surjewala.
"The files with Parrikar should be made public and Modi should submit to a JPC probe. A JPC probe within 10 days will bring out all the truth about the Rafale deal which is the country's biggest defence scam," added Surjewala.
The Congress attack came a day after Modi in an interview accused the Congress of weakening the security forces by harping on the Rafale jet where the BJP says there has been no corruption.