Rahul Gandhi on Monday alleged that the ‘Goa audio tapes’, cited by the Congress to attack the Centre on the Rafale issue, were authentic and the state’s Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar is in possession of ‘explosive secrets’ that give him power over Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
Gandhi’s sharp attack came days after the Congress cited an audio tape in which Goa minister Vishwajit Rane was purportedly heard telling an unidentified person that Parrikar has Rafale files, due to which, he has managed to continue in the chair.
Tagging a media report in which Rane was quoted as saying after the row erupted in the first week of January that the tapes were ‘doctored’, the Congress chief tweeted, “30 days since the Goa Audio Tapes on RAFALE were released. No FIR or inquiry ordered. No action against the Minister either!”
“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,” Gandhi said.
A war of words had erupted between the Congress and the BJP over Parrikar’s purported claim that he had a file on the Rafale jet deal ‘lying in his bedroom’. In the clip released by the Congress, Rane was purportedly heard saying that during a Goa cabinet meeting, Parrikar stated he had an entire file and all documents relating to the Rafale deal lying in his bedroom.
Gandhi had also made an attempt in Lok Sabha’s Winter Session to play an audio tape. Finance Minister Arun Jaitley had said the tape was “false and fabricated”, and asked the Congress president if he could authenticate it.
Parrikar, on his part, had termed the audio clip as a desperate attempt to fabricate facts.
The Congress, which has alleged corruption and favouritism in the Rafale deal and accused the prime minister of it. The government has denied the charges levelled by the Congress and said the deal is clean, without any corruption or middlemen.