The Congress on Saturday launched a fresh tirade against the BJP for continuing with Goa Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar despite his struggle with pancreatic cancer. Leading the attack against the BJP and Parrikar, Goa Congress chief, Girish Chodankar said that the BJP was scared of removing Parrikar from his post since it feared that the latter may spill the beans on the controversial Rafale deal.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi had unilaterally signed the inter-governmental Rafale jets deal with France when Parrikar functioned as the country’s defence minister. He had famously said to media that he was unaware about the deal since Modi had signed the pact with the then French President Francois Hollande without keeping him informed.
Chodankar told reporters in Panjim, “If they upset him, he may put those details in the public domain.” The state Congress president was reacting a day after it was reported that Parrikar had called his cabinet meeting at Delhi’s All India Institute of Medical Sciences last week. This had not gone down well with many on social media, where an overwhelming majority of users accused Parrikar of being greedy for power.
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.