Former Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar's son Utpal Monday described as "insensitive" and a "new low in Indian politics" NCP chief Sharad Pawar's remark that the late BJP leader quit his post at the Centre and returned to Goa because he did not agree with the Rafale deal.
In a strongly-worded letter addressed to Pawar, Utpal Parrikar termed Pawar's remark as another attempt to invoke his father's name to push "blatant falsehood for political gains".
He said the Parrikar family was saddened to read the remarks of Pawar, himself a former Defence Minister.
"This is yet another unfortunate and insensitive attempt to invoke my father's name to push blatant falsehood for political gains," Utpal Parrikar said.
Addressing reporters in Kolhapur on Saturday, Pawar had said, "The Rafale deal was not acceptable to Parrikar. He therefore quit as Defence minister and returned to Goa."
Manohar Parrikar, who took over as defence minister in November 2014, was sworn in as Goa chief minister on March 14, 2017. He died on March 17 this year after a long battle with a pancreatic cancer.
In an apparent reference to Congress president Rahul Gandhi, Utpal Parrikar said even when his father was alive and courageously fighting his illness, certain political leaders dragged his name in controversy for petty politics.
"That time, my father had given a fitting reply to such insinuations and innuendos. Today he is not 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 Parrikar wrote in the letter.
A controversy had erupted after Gandhi met ailing Manohar Parrikar in Panaji in January this year.
Manohar Parrikar had rebutted Gandhi's claim about the purported conversation between them.
Utpal Parrikar further stated that being a senior and respected politician, the people of India did not expect such a statement from Pawar.
"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," Utpal Parrikar said.
Utpal Parrikar, the eldest of two sons of Manohar Parrikar, also said his father went on 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," he said.
Utpal Parrikar said Pawar's remarks were an insult to the love between the people of Goa and the late CM.
"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.
"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," Utpal Parrikar stated.
(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)