All India Congress Committee (AICC) Secretary Priyanka Chaturvedi on Monday accused former Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar of being part of conspiracy of silence over the alleged Rafale purchase scam and claimed that he was in the know of violation of several rules linked to the purchase of military aircraft.
Addressing a press conference at the party state headquarters in Goa, she said, “What we understand is that, he didn’t even know that a deal has been negotiated, signed, agreed upon and I would expect a defence minister who knows that CCS (cabinet committee on security) norms are bypassed, who knows that transfer of technology is not coming to my country, who knows that even defence procurement procedure was not followed who knows self interest was served over nation’s interest, continues to maintain a silence, continues to not answer.”
Stating that silence was also a conspiracy in an agreement which haf betrayed the nation, Congress leader alleged that Parrikar did flip-flop on the deal and went into hiding on the alleged scam.
“Here is a Defence Minister, who just days prior the deal was signed, had gone on record to say that some terms of the Rafale Deal were non-negotiable. But you are aware those are the very clauses that were negotiated on the table in France when they went into this entire agreement. And the nation saw how the current CM and former Defence Minister continued to hide (instead of) giving answers on Rafale. It is a known fact that he himself was not prepared for it and was caught off guard. Is this the CM, who claims that he is one of the most honest, most principled, giving adjectives to himself and keeps adding to himself, continues to maintain silence on an issue which has national relevance?,” she said.
“When the Rafale Deal was signed the current Chief Minister of Goa was the Defence Minister of India, he wasn’t even present in France when the deal was signed. Forget presence of Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar had not even been prepared for the Prime Minister’s announcement, and been caught off guard. The message is very clear the rein of power is in the hand of one person, the rest can be bypassed or processes dispensed with, the question however is, will the PM break his silence?,” she said.