PANJIM, GOA: As BJP’s oldest ally in Goa, the Maharashtrawadi Gomantak Party, stepped up pressure for a “temporary replacement” for Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar till he recovers, former Goa RSS chief Subhash Velingkar, on Wednesday, said that the Chief Minister’s sickness is taking a turn for the worse as “unwarranted pressure” is being put on him by the central BJP leaders to resume office.
“Unfortunately, the BJP high command is putting unnecessary pressure on him, when he clearly needs more rest to be completely fit. The Centre, by hook or crook, wants Goa to remain a BJP stronghold and hence forcing him to resume office. This is worsening his current health condition,” Mr Velingkar told reporters in Panjim.
“The Centre should have got a substitute chief minister as long as Manohar Parrikar is not getting well… I don’t think this Goa government will survive if things go on like this. It will be dissolved soon,” said the former state Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) chief.
The Goa BJP chief, Vinay Tendulkar dismissed Mr Velingkar’s comments. He said, the party high command is not forcing Parrikar to continue in the chair. “His health condition is improving now and he will resume office in November,” said Mr Tendulkar.
The former state RSS chief also hit out at the BJP, saying the party was “no more a party of ideology”. “The elected representatives don’t have anything to do with the party’s ideology. They have imported leaders from other parties. The loyal cadre is disturbed. In the next election, the BJP will be completely wiped out from the state,” he claimed.
Dismissing Mr Velingkar’s claims on ideology, Mr Tendulkar said, “Whosoever is in the party is because he or she believes in our ideology.”
Mr Parrikar returned to Goa on October 15, after he was discharged from All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) in Delhi, where was undergoing treatment for over a month, for a pancreatic ailment.
The MGP chief, Dipak Dhavalikar, yesterday said that the people of Goa are suffering as the state administration had collapsed due to the long absence of the Chief Minister from his office. “Since Mr Parrikar is recuperating at home, he should hand over the charge to any of the senior ministers till he recovers,” Mr Dhavalikar told news agency PTI.
“Every day, we have to pacify people who come to our doorstep complaining that the state administration has collapsed. What shall we tell them?” Mr Dhavalikar said.
The MGP chief’s statement comes even as Goa BJP chief Vinay Tendulkar maintained that there will be no change in leadership in the state.
Citing the Chief Minister’s ill-health, the Congress party has been demanding that they be allowed to form the government in Goa.
On September 17, the Congress, along with 14 legislators in the 40-member state assembly, submitted a letter to Governor Mridula Sinha, urging her to invite them to form the government.
Even as the Congress had emerged as the single-largest party, in the fractured verdict in Assembly elections in March 2017, two lawmakers last week had resigned from the party, reducing its strength from 16 to 14 in the 40-member House.
The Manohar Parrikar-led government has the support of 23 lawmakers in the Assembly, 14 of the BJP, three each from the Goa Forward Party (GFP) and the MGP and three Independent legislators.