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Sardesai downplays Rahul Gandhi's latest Rafale jibe to 'keep issue alive'

Sardesai downplays Rahul Gandhi's latest Rafale jibe to 'keep issue alive'
Sardesai also said that perhaps because Gandhi was in Goa, he remembered about the controversy and so tweeted about it.

Congress President Rahul Gandhi tweeted about the Rafale audio tape and Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar's possession of "explosive Rafale secrets" on Monday just because he is in Goa and wants to keep the issue alive, Agriculture Minister Vijai Sardesai said on Tuesday. "For us, we want the issue to be over. He wants the issue to be alive. He is doing what he has to do," Sardesai told reporters when asked to respond to Gandhi's tweet on Monday.

Sardesai also said that perhaps because Gandhi was in Goa, he remembered about the controversy and so tweeted about it. Rahul Gandhi is on a private visit to Goa with his mother Sonia Gandhi, also a former Congress President.

An audio clip featuring Goa Health Minister Vishwajit Rane and a local journalist -- where the former claimed that Parrikar in a December 2018 cabinet meeting admitted to possessing a stash of files related to the Rafale deal -- rocked Parliament this month. Both Rane and Parrikar have said that the tape was doctored. However, no formal probe has been launched by the police into the alleged doctoring despite a written request by Rane to the Chief Minister.

(With inputs from agencies.)

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