While the BJP party both at the Centre and in Goa has put up a very brave front and termed the Congress expose on the #RafaleAudioLeaks as a fraud and forgery, internally – as reported earlier (Read Here) the party high command had ordered an inquiry into the entire incident and sent a show-cause notice to Goa Health Minister Vishwajit Rane.
Now, it is learnt that while Vishwajit Rane submitted his explanation in writing to the party high command, the party leaders were not ready to accept his explanation. Rane is also understood to have apologized to the BJP High Command for his indiscretion, but even that was not palatable to the party. He was given a strict and stern warning and told to lie low and keep away from the media for about a month, till the issues dies a natural death.
It is learnt that Vishwajit Rane did explain to his senior leaders that he did have the conversation with the so-called “Mr X”, but the tape was edited and out-of-context. Relevant sentences were deleted from the recording which was doctored and then released in public, Rane is understood to have told the party High Command.
The party high command severely reprimanded him for discussing matters which were out of his jurisdiction and particularly goings-on at Cabinet meetings must never be discussed or conveyed on phone, he was warned. Rane was given a last and final warning and told to keep away from the press and media for about a month or so till the matter dies down.
Sources claim that it is possible that Vishwajit Rane’s rival and BJP ally Vijai Sardesai who heads the Goa Forward Party could be behind the leak, but the GFP has maintained a discrete distance from the entire issue.
Vishwajit Rane also got a tongue-lashing from CM Manohar Parrikar who chided him for his indiscretion. According to a top source in the party, “the entire party is upset with Vishwajit Rane, while some of his detractors within the BJP are hooting for joy. He has caused great embarrassment for the party, at a time when the BJP in Goa was trying to up the ante against the Congress by trying to garner support for Parrikar. The entire episode has embarrassed the BJP High Command at a time when there are a few months left for the Lok Sabha polls as well as by-polls in Shiroda and Mandrem.”
Vishwajit Rane had been ordered to reply in writing last week and explain how his name got dragged into the matter. Parrikar gave him a dressing down for being indiscreet and speaking to journalists about matters concerning the internal issues of the party. It is now clear that Vishwajit Rane was speaking to a journalist friend from Goa and the audio recording somehow got leaked. Vishwajit Rane was not available for comment and we will update this article as and when he responds to us.
It is also learnt that he air-dashed to Delhi on Thursday morning, where a furious Amit Shah refused to meet him. His enemies within the BJP who were jealous about his rise within the party and his closeness to Parrikar were rejoicing as they learnt that Parrikar reprimanded him severely for his failure to maintain utmost secrecy on party issues, while speaking to the media.