Congress demands "fool-proof" security to Goa CM Parrikar over Rafale files
Ailing Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar's life is in danger because he possesses key files related to corruption in the Rafale fighter jet deal, Goa Congress President Girish Chodankar has said in a letter to President Ram Nath Kovind, demanding "fool-proof" security to the former Defence Minister who is recuperating from cancer.
The Goa Congress on Saturday also questioned the delay in filing of a First Information Report in connection with a controversial audio clip, in which state Health Minister Vishwajit Rane has purportedly claimed that Parrikhar had stashed files related to the Rafale deal in his bedroom. Rane on Wednesday claimed that the clip was doctored and requested Parrikar and BJP President Amit Shah to initiate a probe into the matter.
"The Congress apprehends that attempts on the life of Manohar Parrikar may be made to obtain the files from those who want the actual details of Rafale deal should not come in public domain as the corruption in the deal will be proved," Chodankar said in his letter to Kovind. "I request that best security cover may be provided and existing security my be enhanced for Manohar Parrikar so that he (potential threat) is adequately protected from all possible apprehended threats and that he may be able to reveal the files to the nation without any fear or favour," the letter says.
The Congress added that there was also a danger of key Rafale files getting destroyed. "Surely, the security and defence of the country cannot be allowed to be compromised in bedrooms and accordingly adequate fool-proof security cover and protection to the Chief Minister is the need of the hour," Chodankar said. The audio clip, which created a ruckus in Parliament on Wednesday, allegedly features Rane in a telephonic conversation with a journalist, where Parrikar is stated to have said that the Rafale files were stored in the bedroom of the private residence.
Meanwhile, the Congress in Goa has also demanded the sacking of Rane from the cabinet on account of his discretion as well as a delay in filing a FIR in the matter. "This is a matter of national security and no FIR is being filed despite in the case, despite the Health Minister denying it is his voice... Rane should be sacked for running down the image of the Chief Minister and saying that he is holding Prime Minister Narendra Modi to ransom over the Rafale files," Congress spokesperson Urfan Mulla told a press conference on Saturday.
(With inputs from agencies.)