Rahul meets Parrikar amid allegations on Rafale deal

Last Updated 29 January 2019, 14:20 IST

A day after attacking him over the Rafale issue, Congress President Rahul Gandhi on Tuesday paid a surprise visit to ailing Goa Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar at the state Assembly in Panaji.

Rahul, who was enroute Kochi to address the Congress booth workers meeting, had a brief stopover in Panaji during which he called on Parrikar, who is recovering from a pancreatic ailment.

“Rahul met Parrikar for about 10 minutes in the chief minister's chamber in the state assembly,” Goa Congress Legislature Party leader Chandrakant Kavalekar told DH.

Kavalekar said the meeting was a courtesy call during which the Congress President enquired about the well being of Parrikar.

Kavalekar and some Congress leaders were present when Rahul met Parrikar. However, after a while, they withdrew from the chief minister's chamber to allow Rahul a one-on-one conversation with Parrikar.

“This morning I visited Goa CM, Manohar Parrikar, to wish him a speedy recovery. It was a personal visit,” Rahul said on Twitter. Rahul had reached Panaji late Monday evening after addressing a rally in Chhattisgarh.

Kavalekar said since the Goa Assembly was in session, Rahul also met Congress MLAs in the party office in the Assembly building.

He promised the MLAs that he would be back in Goa next month to discuss the party strategy for the Lok Sabha polls.

Only on Monday, Rahul had reiterated his claims that Parrikar had managed to hold on to his chief minister's post despite his serious health issue as he was in possession of some files related to the Rafale fighter aircraft deal.

“30 days since the Goa Audio Tapes on RAFALE were released. No FIR or enquiry ordered. No action against the Minister either!” Rahul had tweeted on Monday.

“It's obvious that the tapes are authentic & that Goa CM, Parrikar, is in possession of explosive Rafale secrets, that give him power over the PM,” he said.

Rahul had cited an audio recording of a purported conversation between Goa Health Minister Vishwajit Rane and an unidentified person. Rane purportedly told the person that Parrikar had told in a meeting of the Goa cabinet that he had a filed on the Rafale deal “lying in his bedroom”.

(Published 29 January 2019, 10:35 IST)

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