The Goa unit of the Congress has alleged that Manohar Parrikar - who was the defence minister of the country before being shunted to the state as its Chief Minister - was in favour of buying Sukhoi SU-30MK1, which were cheaper and as good as French Rafale jets. Prime Minister Narendra Modi finalised an expensive deal for the French jets, Goa Congress spokesperson Ramakant Khalap said.
Addressing a press conference at the state Congress headquarters, Mr Khalap also said that the mystery of Rafale deal was embedded in a geographic triangle of Paris, Delhi and Goa, and said now that the ailing Chief Minister was on his feet, he should be answering queries related to the Rafale deal.
"In Rajya Sabha in July 2015, he had said that the agreement for 126 aircraft is being withdrawn and negotiations for 36 aircraft will be started. Prior to that in February 2014, he had said that instead of Rafale, Sukhoi SU-30MK1 be purchased because they are as good as Rafale and cheaper than Rafale. This was the view expressed by Manohar Parrikar in his capacity as Defence Minister of India," Mr Khalap said.
"This is to Mr. Parrikar... Now that he is moving around, the press would be fully justified in asking for a personal meet-up with him. He can throw more light on the issue," the former Union Minister of State for Law said.
Mr Khalap, while accusing the Central government of lying to the Supreme Court of India, said that the key to the Rafale mystery lay in three geographical regions.
"So we have Delhi, we have Paris and we have Goa. A triangle, which perhaps holds the mystery of this Rafale aircraft. If no JPC (joint parliamentary committee) is formed (for probe into Rafale deal), the future of the present NDA will be written in perhaps French letters, in the French language," Mr Khalap said.