In order to retain power, Goa Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar is trying to blackmail Prime Minister Narendra Modi on the issue of Rafale fighter plane deal, says former Union Minister and senior Congress leader S Jaipal Reddy.
Reddy, who was addressing 'Jan Akrosh' rally here, said: "He (Parrikar) talks of morality. What morality is there of Mr Parrikar who is sticking to the chair like a leech? I know he is in a position to blackmail Narendra Modi. Parrikar was the Defence Minister during Rafale deal."
Taking a jibe at the BJP, Reddy questioned whether "Chief Minister Parrikar was greater than Mahatma Gandhi, Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru or Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel that he could not be replaced as the Chief Minister of Goa despite being very ill."
"Doesn't the BJP have any other chief ministerial candidate in Goa? The only person greater than Mahatma Gandhi to be born in India was Buddha. Despite Gandhi's death, the country is functioning. The country is functioning despite the death of Jawaharlal Nehru, who was Prime Minister for 17 years. Is Manohar Parrikar bigger than them? The country is functioning despite the death of Sardar Patel, who made a very big contribution in unifying India," he said here on Thursday.
It is worth noting that the Congress organised 'Jan Akrosh' rally at Margao, seeking the "resumption" of governance in the state, claiming that Chief Minister Parrikar's ill health has affected the governance of Goa's administration.
The Rafale jet deal controversy has been on the boil over the last a few months. The Congress and other opposition parties are alleging irregularities in the high-profile deal. The Supreme Court on December 14 gave Prime Minister Narendra Modi led NDA government at the Centre a clean chit on the procurement of 36 Rafale fighter jets from France's Dassault Aviation.