The Budget session of the Goa Assembly has been shortened to four days on account of Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar’s ill health, PTI reported on Monday. The budget will be presented on February 22, Speaker Pramod Sawant said. The Budget session was scheduled began on Monday, and was supposed to conclude on March 22.

“The Business Advisory Committee has decided to curtail the session to only four days,” Sawant, who is also the chairperson of the panel, said. The chief minister has been in a Mumbai hospital since February 15.

Maharashtrawadi Gomantak Party minister Sudin Dhavalikar has been tasked with taking on the chief minister’s responsibilities in the House. Dhavalikar also claimed that Parrikar had asked him to table the Budget. “Parrikar may come to the House on Wednesday,” Dhavalikar added.

Sawant, however, said the decision on who will table the Budget is yet to be made. “It is yet to be decided who will present the Budget as the chief minister might join the Assembly on Wednesday,” the Speaker.

The Congress said it had no objection if the session is shortened. “We have no objection if the Assembly is curtailed to three days as the chief minister is genuinely ill,” said Leader of Opposition Chandrakant Kavlekar. He, however, urged the government not to postpone conducting the session for too long as there were important matters that needed discussion.

BJP leader files complaint against ‘false reports’

A Bharatiya Janata Party leader on Monday lodged a police complaint against unidentified people for allegedly quoting him in false reports about Parrikar’s health. “Some people are circulating false news about the chief minister’s health and misguiding people in my name,” read Sunil Desai’s complaint lodged with the Ponda Police.

On Sunday, authorities at Mumbai’s Lilavati Hospital where Parrikar is being treated said the chief minister was “responding well to treatment”. The hospital issued a statement saying that various “malicious and misleading reports/rumours are floating around in the electronic/print media with regards to his health”. Reports have claimed that Parrikar has pancreatitis.

Meanwhile, security personnel stopped journalist Harish Volvoikar from entering the Assembly after he published and retracted a report about Parrikar’s health, IANS reported. “I am not being allowed to enter the Assembly complex, arbitrarily,” Volvoikar said. “I have the required security pass to enter the Assembly complex as I have been for the last few years.”