Panaji: Minutes after ailing Goa Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar accused Congress President Rahul Gandhi of indulging in politics over a “courtesy visit”, the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) on Wednesday accused Parrikar of acted similarly during the 2017 state Assembly elections.
In a tweet, AAP national Joint Secretary Akshay Marathe alleged that Parrikar had tried to politically milk a similar “courtesy visit” to the home of then Panaji AAP candidate Valmiki Naik’s father in the state capital.
“It’s called karma, Parrikar. In 2017, AAP was a serious threat to BJP in then DefMin’s home turf Panjim, where @ValmikiNaik was attracting anti-BJP votes. Parrikar paid a ‘courtesy visit’ to Valmiki’s ailing father to sow doubt into voters’ minds about an alleged AAP-BJP link,” Marathe said.
Naik’s father Datta has been linked to the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) and Parrikar’s visit to his residence on election eve triggered a controversy, forcing Valmiki to hold an impromptu press conference outside his father’s residence and accuse Parrikar of trying to manipulate the “courtesy call” politically.
In the election that followed for the Panaji assembly seat, Parrikar’s aide and Bharatiya Janata Party candidate Siddharth Kunkoliencar polled 7,924 votes, while Naik came third with 1,944 votes.
Parrikar on Wednesday in a letter to Rahul Gandhi accused the latter of using a visit to an “ailing man” for political ends.
Gandhi had a “closed door” meeting with Parrikar on Tuesday, hours after which the Congress President said in Kerala that the former Defence Minister had distanced himself from the Rafale jet deal.
Parrikar clarified that no discussion on Rafale was held during the meeting between the two leaders on Tuesday.