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

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Panaji, Jan 2 (IANS) Goa Health Minister Vishwajit Rane on Wednesday said that the audio conversation in which he said that Goa Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar had stored files on the Rafale deal in his bedroom, was doctored.

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 CM Parrikar to use the help of the State 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.

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“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.

Earlier on Wednesday, Congress chief spokesperson Randeep Surjewala released the audio of a telephonic conversation allegedly between Health Minister Rane and another person whose identity was kept anonymous, in which Rane is heard saying that Parrikar, during a recently held State 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.

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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.

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

–IANS

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