Audio recording doctored, Parrikar never spoke on Rafale: Goa Minister

IANS
Wednesday, 2 January 2019

"The audio which is going viral is doctored. The CM should direct the DGP to probe this... There was never a point of time when Manohar Parrikar talked about Rafale," Rane said.

Panaji: Goa Health Minister Vishwajit Rane on Wednesday said that a purported audio conversation in which he is heard saying that Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar has stored files on the Rafale deal in his bedroom was doctored.

Rane also said he had spoken to BJP President Amit Shah and requested him to rope in a national agency to probe the matter.

Addressing a press conference here, Rane, a former Congress leader, also said that he was being used as a pawn in the power game between the ruling and opposition parties and had asked Parrikar to use the help of police as well as Central agencies to probe the source of the purported audio conversation and how it went viral.

"The audio which is going viral is doctored. The CM should direct the DGP to probe this... There was never a point of time when Manohar Parrikar talked about Rafale," Rane said.

"They (Congress) are trying to sensationalise Rafale. Central agencies should probe so that these things can come out. There is no question of discussing this subject," Rane added.

"I have asked Amit Shah to rope in a national agency to please check the audio. I am willing to give any kind of explanation if asked for because this is something which is mischievously planned and planted to target me and destabilize the government," he said. 

Rane also said that he would not file a police complaint vis-a-vis the alleged doctoring of the audio, while adding that he had already requested the Chief Minister to probe the issue.

Earlier on Wednesday, Congress chief spokesperson Randeep Surjewala released the audio of a telephonic conversation allegedly between Rane and another person whose identity was kept anonymous in which Rane is heard saying that Parrikar, during a Cabinet meeting, had said that he had files related to the Rafale deal in the bedroom of his private residence where he is currently recuperating.

Surjewala also asked Modi to come clean on the deal and make public the files which Parrikar "is using to threaten the Centre and the BJP".

The Congress has in the past alleged that Parrikar, who is suffering from advanced pancreatic cancer, was refusing to step down as Chief Minister by "blackmailing" the Prime Minister with files related to the controversial fighter jet deal.

Rane also said that he was being made a "scapegoat" by the Congress for the last 16 months.

"Seeing Parrikar in the Secretariat (on Tuesday) has demoralised the Congress," Rane said.

The ailing Parrikar visited the State Secretariat for the first time in four months on Tuesday.

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