Shailesh Kumar, National Defence
New Delhi, 02 January 2019
In a sensational claim, Congress Party today released the alleged audio of Vishwajit Rane, cabinet colleague of Goa Chief Miniser, Manohar Parrikar, claiming the Parrikar in a 3 hour long cabinet meeting said that “I have all the information of Rafale deal in my bedroom”. However, soon after the controversy broke out, former defence minister Parrikar refuted Congress’ audio claims. Rane said it’s a doctored audio.
Congress leader Randeep Singh Surjewala in a press meet claimed that with this information, Manohar Parrikar is holding them (central leadership) to ransom and leadership in New Delhi is unable to touch him (being on Chief Minister’s chair) despite his ill health. Surjewala played the audio clip in press briefing.
When National Defence contacted Vishwajit Rane on phone, he said “it is not my audio, it’s a doctored audio. I have made everything clear.” When National Defence asked him why would Congress target him, Mr Rane said, “because they (read Congress) feel that I am a threat to their formation of Government in Goa and I would never support them, that’s why.
Foremer Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar tweeted, “The audio clip released by the congress party is a desperate attempt to fabricate facts after their lies were exposed by the recent Supreme Court verdict on Rafale. No such discussion ever came up during Cabinet or any other meeting”.
The audio clip released by the congress party is a desperate attempt to fabricate facts after their lies were exposed by the recent Supreme Court verdict on Rafale. No such discussion ever came up during Cabinet or any other meeting.
— Manohar Parrikar (@manoharparrikar) January 2, 2019
Here below is the press brief released by Congress party on the alleged controversy:
X: Good evening sir
Vishwajit: Boss Good Evening. I called today.. there was a 3 hour Cabinet Meeting.
Vishwajit: Just keep it confidential.
X: Han Han
Vishwajit: There were so many fights.. you know.. so many fights.. Nilesh Cabral went on and recruited maximum engineers from his Constituency, so everybody, Jayesh Salgaonkar got the list and showed it to him. Everybody was fighting with him and everybody was upset because no work is being done on recruitment front.
Vishwajit: Bapu Ajgaonkar was fighting with Sudin Dhavalikar because his work was not being done.
Vishwajit: Apart from that the Chief Minister makes one interesting statement. That I have all the information of Rafale in my bedroom.
X: (Shocked) What are you saying?
Vishwajit: I am telling you..
X: My God!
Vishwajit: Which you should actually make a story and actually you can crosscheck with somebody whom you are close to within the Cabinet.
Vishwajit: Because this is how, you know.. this is something…which he said
..that means he is holding them to ransom..
X: I swear
Vishwajit: He said its in my bedroom .. here only in the flat..
Vishwajit: Each and every document of Rafale is with me.
Now whether he wanted somebody to go and inform them in Delhi..or what.. this didn’t know.. I didn’t understand…
X: My God
Vishwajit: Just.. I called you tell you this thing …
X: And 3 hours Cabinet Meeting like you know…literally heading nowhere, or was there…some kind of a thing…
Vishwajit: Nothing …it was heading directionless… waste of time..
X: Sir tell me something… why is this man.. Suddenly… so interested in having an Assembly Session.. that…our speaker.. ?
Vishwajit: Because he feels that the RSS will back him to become the Chief Minister
X: Aah Acha Acha Acha. He is on his own train.
Vishwajit: He is on his own train. Somebody has said Sudin is very clear.. that he is not supporting. They have said that Vijay is very clear.. that he is not supporting.
X: My God
Vishwajit: But we need to have a meeting… because you need to communicate certain things to Delhi… what will be the outcome of this whole thing..
X: Sir you tell…me na sir…whenever you tell me… I am there…
Vishwajit: I will tell you.. just brief and keep.. Because it will go in that direction only.. I am very very clear
Vishwajit: I will tell..
X: Sir so you let me know… whenever you want to come down… I will… be there
Vishwajit: Okay Okay.
Shri Surjewala said what is it that the Minister is verifying from the Cabinet meeting and let me read the transcript again for you. He says and I quote a part from that the Chief Minister makes one interesting statement that I have all the information of Rafale in my bedroom. The other person is shocked he says, “What are you saying?” The Minister says, I quote, I am telling you, the other person says, “My God”, the Minister says, “Because this is how you know, this is something which he said that means he is holding them to ransom. The Minister further says, I quote, he said, it is in my bedroom, here only in the flat. The minister further says, I quote, each and every document of Rafale is with me.
On a question related to the incriminating documents about Rafale, Shri Surjewala said the incriminating facts are already in public domain. The manner and fashion in which every procedure was bypassed, every law was given a go by. The benchmark price was changed by the Prime Minister against the objection of the Defence Ministry, the Defence Acquisition Council and the Defence Audit Wing. We have stated so in the past that the county lost 3 billion Euros on account thereof. It is all recorded in the files and those files are with Mr. Parrikar. Why are those files being hidden? If Mr. Modi has nothing to hide, then why is Mr. Parrikar keeping those files in his bedroom and threatening nobody can do anything against him for he has the Rafale files, because the secrets are all recorded on the files and the day those files are out as stated by and threatened by Shri Manohar Parrikar himself, then it will be proved what we have always said that Rafale is the biggest scam of India and the person accountable for it, is Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi himself.
On another question related to the conversation of Vishwajit Rane, Shri Surjewala said he is speaking to another person whom we have deliberately kept confidential. I mean whose identity, we have kept confidential, and that is why you will find the copies that I am sharing with you. I have written x.
On another question related to BJP leaders Sh Yashwant Sinha and Sh Arun Shourie moving to Supreme Court for review of Rafale Order, Shri Surjewala said every individual has a right to do what they chose fit. Congress Party never went to the Hon’ble Supreme Court for we always maintained, and please take out our proceedings much before even the judgment came, that the Supreme Court is not the forum as Supreme Court itself said and affirmed what we have said. They don’t have jurisdiction to investigate into the Rafale scam on account of the fact that Supreme Court can not have access and they were not given access to the Rafale files, where benchmark price was changed, where a Rs. 30,000 crores were snatched away from HAL, public sector undertaking and given to Mr. Anil Ambani’s Company, which was a 12 day old company, the justification for reducing 126 Air Craft to 36. Why was Cabinet Committee on Security approval not taken? Why was Defence Procurement Procedure violated? How was corruption happening at every step in the Rafale scam in order to fix the deal? All these are matters of evidence and documents, which were neither before Supreme Court nor can they go before it and that’s why we have maintained a JPC is only way forward, but anybody is free to move the Supreme Court. It is a democratic country.
On a question related about the Government’s rejection to JPC demand, Shri Surjewala said because they are running scared, because Prime Minister is personally scared that the Rafale scam is getting unveiled by the day. Prime Minister does not want to share the various facets of the Rafale scam with his own party members for in JPC majority will be NDA and BJP. And this conversation today now further cements our demand for JPC. Let the Prime Minister come forward and tell what are those secrets, bungling, corruption, malfeasance and scam that exists in the Rafale files, which are being now held, a copy of which is now being held by the then Defence Minister and present Chief Minister of Goa, Shri Manohar Parrikar. Does it not establish कि दाल में काला नहीं पूरी की पूरी दाल काली है।