Congress chief Rahul Gandhi visits Manohar Parrikar in Goa (PTI Photo)
Congress chief Rahul Gandhi on Tuesday visited Goa Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar in Panaji today. The surprise visit comes a day after Gandhi alleged that the "Goa audio tapes", cited by the Congress to attack the Centre on the Rafale issue, were authentic and Parrikar was in possession of "explosive secrets" that gave him power over Prime Minister Narendra Modi. Earlier, the Congress had 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.
After meeting Parrikar, Gandhi said that it was a ‘private visit.’ “This morning I visited Goa CM, Manohar Parrikar, to wish him a speedy recovery. It was a personal visit,” Gandhi tweeted.
Reacting on the sudden development, Goa Congress Legislature Party Chief Chandrakant Kavlekar said that, “Rahul ji is on a private trip to Goa. He visited the Chief Minister to check on his health. I also requested him to meet our Congress MLAs, he obliged and met all of them.” On Monday, Gandhi took to Twitter and attacked the Modi government over the multi-billion deal. “30 days since the Goa Audio Tapes on RAFALE were released. No FIR or enquiry 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 (sic),” Gandhi had said on the micro-blogging site. 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.
During the Winter Session of Parliament, Gandhi had said that if his party comes to power in 2019, a criminal investigation will be launched into the matter and those found guilty will be punished. Speaking to the media outside Parliament ahead of the government's reply in Lok Sabha over the issue, he had accused that Prime Minister Narendra Modi of running away from the debate and posed a series of questions to Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman.