Panaji: Son of former Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar, Utpal, in a letter to Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) supremo Sharad Pawar on Monday has castigated him for his statement and has urged to let people of country to grieve in peace over the death of his father.
Pawar talking to reporters in Kolhapur had claimed that Parrikar had resigned as Union Defence Minister as “Rafale deal was not acceptable to him.”
Sharply reacting to the statement, Utpal in his letter addressed to Pawar has said that it was yet another unfortunate and insensitive attempt to invoke his father’s name to push blatant falsehood for political gains.
“My family and I were extremely saddened to read your remark about my father late Manohar Parrikar,” said Utpal, who has been campaigning for BJP candidate Shripad Naik for Lok Sabha election.
Indirectly referring to the controversy after Congress President Rahul Gandhi made statement over Rafale deal, Utpal said “even when my father was alive and courageously fighting his illness, certain political leaders dragged his name for petty politics.”
“That time, my father had given a fitting reply to such insinuations and innuendo,” he added.
“Today he is not in amongst us, which is why perhaps you are taking the liberty to use his name and speak lies. This is a new low in the Indian political discourse,” Utpal said.
He further added that being a senior and respected politician, the people of India did not expect such a statement from him.
“But, now that you have made this statement, let me once again state the basic facts. My father was an honest, upright individual who worked in the best interest of the country, be it in Delhi or in Goa,” he added.
Utpal said that his father went to serve as the defence minister , and by all accounts, did an excellent job. “Many historic decisions were taken by him 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 said.
“Later, when the people of Goa wanted him to come back to serve them, Parrikar, ever the people’s leader, dutifully came back and served Goa till his last breath. It is an insult to the love between the people of Goa and Parrikar to falsely suggest that he came back due to Rafale acquisition,” the letter reads.
“As a former defence minister yourself, I am sure you know the importance of equipping our brave soldiers well. It is extremely distressing to see you becoming part of malicious misinformation campaign that seeks to hinder the strengthening of our armed forces,” he added.
Utpal has said “it is sad that those who never bothered to enquire 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 the people of Goa and all Indians who respect Parrikar to grieve in peace,” he added.