Goa Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar who has been keeping unwell for last few months is heading to AIIMS in Delhi for a health checkup, news agency ANI reported. The development comes in the midst of reports that Parrikar on Friday spoke to BJP president Amit Shah to express his desire to temporarily give up the chief ministership due to his declining health. However, a PTI report claimed that Parrikar only briefed Shah about the political situation in the state and also informed him about his health condition. It was decided that Parrikar will continue as the CM but he might give some of his portfolios to his cabinet colleagues.
Deputy Goa assembly speaker Michael Lobo confirmed on Saturday that Parrikar will continue to serve as CM but his portfolios will be distributed among ministers. “Goa CM will reach AIIMS, Delhi at 1 pm today.Amit Shah&Modi ji are monitoring the situation in Goa. Portfolios that were with CM will be distributed among ministers so that administration runs smoothly. Parrikar ji will continue to serve as CM,” he told ANI.
According to a report in The Indian Express which cited BJP sources as saying, the BJP central leadership is expected to send central observers and leaders to the state who will monitor political developments and address the leadership issue.
Parrikar who had returned from the US on September 6, his third visit to the US in last seven months, has not attended office and has been recovering at home. He has been visiting a clinic at Candolim in north Goa on regular basis. He was admitted to the clinic on Thursday night after he complained of a fever.
On Friday, the IE report said that Parrikar called state BJP leaders and alliance ministers to the clinic for a meeting. It said that by evening, BJP leaders and ministers visited Parrikar in the clinic where they huddled for at least an hour. Soon after the meeting, ally partners Vijai Sardesai of the Goa Forward and Sudin Dhavalikar of the Maharashtra Gomantak Party (MGP), told reporters that ‘Parrikar is fine’.
Sardesai said that he visited the clinic to wish Parrikar on Ganesh Chaturthi, adding that “their (BJP) central observers are expected to come soon.”
“He (Parrikar) is doing work. When he is doing work, where is the question of taking charge,” Dhavalikar said.
The report added that the BJP may offer the post of Deputy CM to Dhavalikar. When MGP state president Deepak Dhavalikar was asked about the development, he refused to make any comment but admitted that “preliminary discussions are going on”.
“But, we cannot say anything yet. I will wait to meet Sudin before I comment any further,” Deepak Dhavalikar said.
The report added that Parrikar had on Ganesh Chaturthi visited his ancestral house in Parra in a bid to dispel the rumours about his health.
A BJP leader told PTI that by next week, the government will work out the exact arrangement through which the work burden on Parrikar could be reduced. The leader added that a thought will also be given to replacing the two ailing ministers – Pandurang Madkaikar and Francis D’Souza. Both Madkaikar and D’Souza are ministers from the BJP’s quota and are currently hospitalised.
Goa BJP general secretary Sadanand Shet Thanavade said that nothing can be said at this stage and that the CM had called a meeting of the BJP leaders and alliance ministers as he had not met anyone after his return from the US on September 6.
“All sorts of rumours are flying. We along with Union Minister for State Shripad Naik met him (Parrikar) at the clinic. It was a meeting called by him as, since his return from the US, he has not met all of us together. He looked weak. But I will still wait to see him recover before saying anything,” Sadanand said.
Meanwhile, the Congress party said that its leaders are closely watching the development in the state. Congress state president Girish Chodonkar said that the party is in favour of a full-time Chief Minister and that the government should come out with an official statement on the current situation.
“Even now, there is no official statement coming from the government on any of this. The ministers are just coming out independently and saying things are fine. Everyone is being fooled. We have been demanding for a full-time Chief Minister. We have gone to the Governor, too, and we have demanded this for four months now. This way of functioning is absolute foolishness,” the Congress leader said.
Source: Financial Express