The probe into the “missing” Rafale papers should start from Goa chief minister Manohar Parrikar who had claimed files related to the deal were with him, Congress president Rahul Gandhi said Friday.
Parrikar was Defence Minister when the Rafale deal was signed with France and the Centre has told the Supreme Court some documents related to the multi-billion contract have been “stolen”.
However, Attorney General K K Venugopal claimed the Rafale documents were not stolen from the defence ministry and that what he meant in his submission before the Supreme Court was that petitioners in the application used “photocopies of the original” papers, deemed secret by the government.
Taking potshots at the BJP-led ruling coalition in Goa, Gandhi said like the government has “disappeared” in the coastal state, Rafale papers, too, have gone missing.
Gandhi was addressing booth-level party workers under the banner ‘Jeet Ki Aur’ near Panaji.
“Like the government has disappeared from Goa, the (Rafale) files, too, have disappeared. If you want to inquire then start it from Parrikar,” he said.
“Parrikar had told Cabinet that Rafale files are with him,” Gandhi said referring to a purported audio conversation between Goa minister Vishwajit Rane and an unknown caller that had refences to the deal.
“(Prime Minister) Narendra Modi cannot remove me from the chief minister’s post. The day he removes me, I will show the files. If files have gone missing then conduct inquiry of Parrikar,” Gandhi said, quoting from the audio tape.