Ailing Goa Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar has called his first cabinet meeting from Aall India Institute of Medical Sciences, where he’s currently undergoing treatment for pancreatic cancer.
Among those invited are leaders of his alliance partners including Goa Forward Party leader Vijai Sardesai, MGP leader and PWD minister Sudin Dhavalikar, Revenue Minister Rohan Khaunte, Minister of Art and Culture Govind Gawade and independent MLA Prasad Gaonkar, who is supporting the BJP-led coalition in the state.
According to reports, Parrikar is expected to allocate fresh portfolios to his allies. The development comes amidst the opposition Congress mounting attack on the government for failure of governance in the state.
A delegation of Congress, which has 16 MLAs in the 40-seat assembly, had met Governor Mridula Sinha last month demanded floor test by the BJP-led government to prove its majority. But the criticism on failure of governance because of Parrikar’s poor health hasn’t just come from the opposition.
Goa Deputy Speaker and BJP MLA Michael Lobo had told news agency PTI last week that the state administration had ‘totally collapsed’ because of the absence of Parrikar.
In last year’s assembly elections, the BJP had managed to win only 13 out of 40 MLAs. The Congress had won 17 seats, emerging as the single largest party. But, the BJP had staked its claim to form the government with the help of Goa Forward Party led by Vijai Sardesai, Maharashtrawadi Gomantak Party and Nationalist Congress Party.
Parrikar, who was was diagnosed with the fourth stage of pancreatic cancer in February, had to spend three months in the US for treatment and returned home only in June. He had travelled to the US again in early August for a follow-up checkup.