Goa Congress chief seeks security cover for Parrikar over Rafale files

Both Rane and Parrikar have issued denials and questioned the authenticity of the tape but the Goa government is yet to order a probe

By Arnab Ganguly in Mumbai
  • Published 6.01.19, 3:21 AM
  • Updated 6.01.19, 3:22 AM
  • a min read
  •  
The Congress has alleged that Manohar Parrikar is using the files to remain Goa chief minister despite his failing health. Telegraph file picture

Goa Congress chief Girish Chodankar has written to President Ram Nath Kovind seeking tighter security for chief minister Manohar Parrikar in a dig at the BJP over the Rafale deal.

He has expressed fears of possible attempts on the BJP politician’s life in connection with the Rafale files that he has allegedly hidden in his bedroom and with which, according to Congress president Rahul Gandhi, he has been “blackmailing and threatening” Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

“The Congress party apprehends that attempts on the life of the chief minister Manohar Parrikar may be made to obtain the files… (by) those who want that actual details of Rafale deal should not come in public domain as corruption in the deal will be proved,” the letter, a copy of which has been released to the media, says.

The President has little to do with a chief minister’s security, which is arranged by the state police.

Alleged corruption in the Rafale deal has been the Congress’s main weapon against Modi, with Rahul leading the charge.

On Wednesday, Rahul had referred to an audiotape in which Goa health minister Vishwajit Rane purportedly tells an unidentified journalist that Parrikar, a former defence minister, had told his cabinet that he had “all the information of Rafale in my bedroom”.

Both Rane and Parrikar have issued denials and questioned the authenticity of the tape but the Goa government is yet to order a probe.

The Congress has alleged that Parrikar is using the files to remain Goa chief minister despite his failing health.

Chodankar wrote that Parrikar needed protection to spill the beans on the Rafale deal. “I request that the best security cover may be provided and existing security may be enhanced… so that he is adequately protected from all possible threats and that he may be able to reveal the (contents of the) files to the nation without any fear of possible threat to his life or the files getting destroyed,” his letter says.

Goa BJP chief Vinay Tendulkar said: “This (the letter) is for cheap publicity. Rane has said the voice is not his.”

Asked why no probe has been ordered, he said: “The government will decide.”

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