Administration Defence

Manohar Parrikar’s son rebuts Sharad Pawar on Rafale claim

Manohar Parrikar’s son on Monday delivered a sharp rejoinder to Nationalist Congress Party boss Sharad Pawar over claims that the former defence minister had quit the union cabinet over the Rafale deal.

“This is yet another unfortunate and insensitive attempt to invoke my father’s name to push blatant falsehoods for political gains,” Utpal Parrikar, a 38-year-old businessman with a Master’s degree, said in a letter to Pawar.

Manohar Parrikar, who had taken over as defence minister in November 2014, was sworn in as Goa chief minister on March 14, 2017, after more than one BJP ally conditioned their support to Parrikar being given the lead role in the state government. The Goa chief minister died on March 17 this year after a long battle with a pancreatic ailment.

The Maratha strongman had last week told reporters that the Rafale deal was not acceptable to Manohar Parrikar. He, therefore, resigned from the post of Defence minister and returned to Goa,” claimed Pawar.

Parrikar’s elder son said this wasn’t true.

Utpal said his father had taken many historic decisions for which he will be remembered forever. “One of them was the Rafale fighter aircraft acquisition deal of which he was one of the chief architects,” he wrote in the letter that was also released to the media.

“It is sad that those who never bothered to inquire about my father when he was putting up a brave fight against illness have begun invoking his name to indulge in political mudslinging. I urge you to desist from such conduct. Allow us….. to grieve in peace,” the letter said.


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