'Rafale files in Manohar Parrikar's bedroom' tape fires up a storm in Parliament

Jan 03, 2019, 08:05 IST | Agencies

Finance Minister Arun Jaitley says in Lok Sabha that Congress President Rahul Gandhi might have to face a privilege motion and even expulsion if the tape turns out to be false and fabricated

'Rafale files in Manohar Parrikar's bedroom' tape fires up a storm in Parliament
Finance Minister Arun Jaitley and (right) Congress President Rahul Gandhi speak during the discussion on issues relating to Rafale deal, in the Lok Sabha in New Delhi, on Wednesday. Pics/PTI

Sparks flew between the Congress and the government over Goa Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar's purported claim he had a file on the Rafale jet deal "lying in his bedroom" and Rahul Gandhi making an attempt in the Lok Sabha to play an audio tape purportedly of a Goa minister regarding this matter.

As tempers ran high in the Lok Sabha, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley said the tape was "false and fabricated", asking the Congress president if he can authenticate. Jaitley also asserted that Gandhi may have to face privilege motion and even expulsion in case the tape turns out to be fabricated.

Parrikar on his part termed the audio clip cited by the Congress on the Rafale deal as a desperate attempt to fabricate facts after the Supreme Court exposed the "lies" of the Opposition party. No such discussion as cited in the audio clip ever came up during the Cabinet, said Parrikar, who was the defence minister when India and France signed a deal for the purchase of fighter aircraft from France.

The Congress demanded answers from the PM on Parrikar's purported claim and asked if this was the reason why a JPC probe was not being ordered. Congress chief spokesperson Randeep Surjewala came out with a conversation purportedly between Goa minister Vishwajit Rane and another person. Rane purportedly can be heard saying that during a Goa cabinet meeting last week Parrikar stated he had all documents relating to the Rafale deal in his bedroom, Surjewala said, playing the conversation for the media outside Parliament.

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