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Goa Minister Rane and CM Parrikar rubbish Congress tape on Rafale, say it is doctored

In the audio released by Congress, Rane is purportedly heard saying that Parikar revealed having Rafale information in his bedroom.

Health minister of Goa Vishwajit Rane has said that an audio tape released by the Congress party, containing his alleged conversation with a journalist, is doctored. The audio was of an alleged conversation where Rane tells the journalist that Manohar Parikar, the former Defence Minister of India and current Chief Minister of Goa says that he has the Rafale files “in his bedroom”. Rane was allegedly talking about the cabinet meeting of the Goa government a few days ago.

In the audio, the alleged voice of Rane tells the journalist that during the 3 hours long heated cabinet meeting, Goa chief minister Manohar Parikar had said ‘I have all the information of Rafale in my bedroom’. According to the allegations hurled by Congress, this was said by the CM to establish that nobody in the party leadership can touch him, and that’s why he is still the chief minister despite being ill.

In the audio recording that does not have any noise that is usually heard on taped phone calls, the alleged voice of Rane tells the journalist to crosscheck the incident with someone from the cabinet and make it a story.

Touting it as the biggest expose on the so-called Rafale scam, Congress spokesperson Randeep Singh Surjewala addressed the media and released the tape.

But now Vishwajit Rane has reacted to the audio saying it is doctored. He said that the Congress party has stooped so low that it has doctored a tape to create miscommunication between Cabinet and chief minister. He clarified that Parikar didn’t mention anything about Rafale or any such document.

Rane also informed that he has asked the CM to start a criminal investigation into the audio.

The Chief Minister of Goa, Manohar Parikar has also rubbished these motivated allegations. He has said that no such conversation came up during the cabinet meeting.

There are interesting facts regarding the tape itself. Firstly, the tape has no background noise which would be quintessential to a phone conversation being recorded. Secondly, this entire line of attack by Congress seems based on conjecture. Congress has provided no proof to back these assertions. There is no audio or video of Manohar Parrikar making these assertions or any other person corroborating these allegations.

The Congress has been targeting Parrikar over his ill-health for a while and this convenient “taped conversation” seems convenient. Also, it shows that this alleged ‘journalist’ was being fed a story that had no proof.

Interestingly, Rahul Gandhi himself had asserted earlier that Manohar Parrikar did not know about the “deal change” that was done by Prime Minister.

Now, Congress’ allegations seem rather hollow.

Before the recently concluded assembly elections, Rahul Gandhi used the alleged Rafale scam as one of the main weapons to target BJP, inventing one lies after another regarding the deal. After elections, the attacks had come down. But after extradition to AgustaWestland middleman Christian Michel to India, and after he named “Mrs Gandhi” and “son of the Italian lady” to the investigators, the Congress party has once again started making allegations on Rafale as a counter-attack.

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