Don't politicise courtesy visit: Goa CM Manohar Parrikar to Rahul Gandhi

In a letter, Mr Parrikar asked Mr Gandhi not to use his visit to an ailing person to feed political opportunism

New Delhi: Accusing Congress president Rahul Gandhi of using his courtesy visit to him for “petty political gains,” ailing Goa chief minister Manohar Parrikar on Wednesday asserted that there was no mention of the Rafale issue in their five-minute meeting. Mr Gandhi had paid a “courtesy visit” to Mr Parrikar on Tuesday.

The former defence minister also reiterated that the fighter aircraft were procured following all stated procedures keeping national security a top priority.

BJP president Amit Shah also ripped into Mr Gandhi, charging him with “lying” in the name of a person fighting a disease and claiming that people of India are “disgusted by your reckless behaviour.” Hours after meeting Mr Parrikar at the Goa assembly complex in Panaji, Mr Gandhi had told Congress workers in Kochi that the former defence minister had told him that he had nothing to do with the Rafale fighter jet deal.

“Friends, the ex-defence minister Mr Parrikar clearly stated that he has nothing to do with the new deal that was orchestrated by Mr Narendra Modi to benefit Anil Ambani,” he had said.

In a letter, Mr Parrikar asked Mr Gandhi not to use his visit to an ailing person to “feed political opportunism”, saying that paying a courtesy visit and then stooping so low to make a false statement for petty political gains has raised in his mind questions about sincerity and purpose of the visit.

“Here I am fighting against a life-threatening illness. Due to my training and ideological strength, I wish to serve Goa and its people against any/all odds. I thought your visit would give me your good wishes in that cause of serving our people. Little did I know that you had other intentions,” Mr Parrikar wrote.

Asking Mr Gandhi to put forth the truth about their visit, he said, “Kindly do no use your visit to an ailing person to feed political opportunism.”

The Goa chief minister noted that Mr Gandhi had called on him Tuesday without any prior information and said he received the Congress president’s visit in the spirit of India’s healthy political tradition of rising above bipartisan considerations and wishing even opponents a quick recovery from any ailment.

“I received your visit in that spirit, fighting as I am, with good medical care, a severe ailment,” he said, adding that media reports of Mr Gandhi quoting him on the Rafale fighter jet deal caused him “distress”.

( Source : Deccan Chronicle. )
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