- Congress leader says Manohar Parrikar blackmailing PM through Rafale deal
- Demands Goa Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar's resignation
- BJP says Congress trying in vain to raise Rafale issue despite clearance
Senior Congress leader and former Union minister Jaipal Reddy has accused Goa Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar of trying to "blackmail" Prime Minister Narendra Modi through the Rafale deal to retain his chair as the chief minister.
Mr Reddy was addressing the party's concluding function of "Jan Akrosh" Rally at Margao town on Thursday.
The Congress has been holding "Jan Akrosh" rallies across Goa demanding "resumption" of governance in the state, claiming Mr Parrikar's health has affected the functioning of the administration.
The former Information and Broadcasting minister demanded Mr Parrikar's resignation and said he was "sticking" to the chief minister's chair "like a leech".
"He talks of morality, what morality is there of Mr Manohar Parrikar sticking to the chair like a leech," Mr Reddy said in the presence of Congress leaders, including state chief Girish Chodankar, former Goa chief ministers Digambar Kamat, Ravi Naik, Francisco Sardinha, and others.
"I know he is in a position to blackmail PM Narendra Modi... Is he blackmailing PM to keep him in the chair as chief minister? We need to think about it," he added.
Before assuming charge as Goa chief minister, Mr Parrikar was Defence minister in the Modi Cabinet.
Reacting to Mr Reddy's statement, the BJP said the Congress was trying in vain to raise the Rafale issue despite it being cleared by the Supreme Court.
The Supreme Court on December 14 gave the Narendra Modi government a clean chit on the procurement of 36 Rafale fighter jets from France and dismissed all petitions seeking a direction to the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) to register an FIR for alleged irregularities in the deal.
The top court had said there was no occasion to doubt the decision-making process in the multi-billion dollar Rafale deal.