Lok Sabha saw a massive uproar on Wednesday after Congress president Rahul Gandhi sought permission to play a purported audio tape of a Goa minister on the Rafale fighter jets deal but refused to authenticate it. Union Minister Arun Jaitley, however, accused Gandhi of speaking "lies repeatedly". Speaking on the Rafale deal controversy, Gandhi targeted Prime Minister Narendra Modi, claiming that he "does not have guts" to come to Parliament to confront questions on the issue and "hides" in his room.
Here’s the Rafale audio tape leak controversy:
1. Congress chief spokesperson Randeep Surjewala released the audio tape with a conversation purportedly between Goa minister Vishwajit Rane and another person, who has not been identified. Rane purportedly is heard saying that during a cabinet meeting last week Manohar Parrikar said he had a file and all documents relating to the Rafale deal lying in his bedroom and that it needed to be ‘exposed’, Surjewala claimed.
देश जानना चाहता है :-January 2, 2019
2. Parrikar, now Goa Chief Minister, was the defence minister when the deal for the 36 jets was signed by the Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
3. Rubbishing the allegations, Parrikar also tweeted saying he never discussed the Rafale deal with any of his cabinet members. “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 (the) cabinet or any other meeting,” Parrikar posted on Wednesday.
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
4. While debating on the Rafale deal, Gandhi sought permission to play the audio tape in Lok Sabha.
5. Jaitley demanded if he can authenticate it, but the Congress leader said he would not do so. "He knows it is wrong and hence is scared to authenticate it," Jaitley said, adding "this man lies repeatedly".
6. Vishwajit Rane has termed an audio clip as "doctored" and told BJP president Amit Shah that he has asked the state government to order an inquiry into the matter.
7. Speaking to reporters in Panaji, he accused the Congress of falsely implicating him in the controversy surrounding Rafale deal through the "fake audio". "Today's voice note which is being circulated and talked about is absolutely absurd and illogical," Rane told reporters in Panaji.
8. In the letter, Rane has wrote: "I have also sent a letter to Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar asking for an immediate police inquiry and criminal investigation to expose the mischievous elements."
Goa Minister Vishwajit P Rane writes to Goa CM Manohar Parrikar in regard with the audio tape released by Congress on Rafale, states, "This is a doctored audio & I have never had any discussion on this subject with anyone. there should be a thorough inquiry in this matter" pic.twitter.com/OVHkYOHtfz— ANI (@ANI) January 2, 2019
9. "I would like to...inform the chief minister that there is someone playing mischief and there should be inquiry in this matter and such mischievous elements need to be brought to the book," he said in the letter to Parrikar.
10. Rane, a former Congress leader who joined the BJP after 2017 assembly elections and was made a minister, said, "From the time I have joined the BJP the Congress has been targeting me."
(With PTI inputs)