Former Goa Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh chief Subhash Velingkar on Wednesday accused the Bharatiya Janata Party of forcing ailing Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar to continue to remain in office, PTI reported. Velingkar alleged that the “power-hungry government” is “fooling the people” about the situation.
Parrikar has been confined to his Taleigao home – where Intensive Care Unit facilities have been set up – since he was discharged from Delhi’s All India Institute of Medical Sciences on October 14. He was diagnosed with an advanced pancreatic ailment in February, but his office has been tight-lipped about the exact nature of his condition.
Velingkar urged the state government to give an update on the chief minister’s condition. “Parrikar needs proper rest,” the former RSS chief told reporters. “Unfortunately, the BJP high command in Delhi wants to retain power in Goa, that is why they are not allowing him to rest.”
On September 23, Bharatiya Janata Party National President Amit Shah said that Parrikar will continue to be chief minister of Goa.
Velingkar said the BJP should appoint another person to take charge of the chief minister’s office until Parrikar recovers. “I feel this government will be dissolved and the Goa Assembly elections would be held along with the Lok Sabha polls,” Velingkar said.
He was addressing a press conference in Mandrem constituency, which is scheduled to have a bypoll soon, after Congress MLA Dayanand Sopte quit to join the BJP. Velingkar was sacked from his post as RSS chief in 2016 after he criticised the Parrikar government over the matter of the medium of instruction in state schools.
He later set up the Goa Suraksha Manch, which contested against the BJP in the state Assembly polls in 2017. Velingkar predicted a loss for the BJP in the state’s next election as the elected representatives are “imported from other parties” and “do not have anything to do with the party’s ideology”.
Tendulkar also dismissed Velingkar’s claims about the party’s members and their commitment to the party. “Whosoever is in the party is because he/she believes in our ideology,” Tendulkar said.
On Wednesday, the Congress requested an appointment with Parrikar citing his “zero public appearances”.
In September, the Shiv Sena had criticised the Bharatiya Janata Party’s decision to retain an “ailing Manohar Parrikar as chief minister” of Goa despite his illness as “cruel and inhuman politics”. The Shiv Sena, which is an ally of the BJP in Maharashtra, said the ruling party was afraid of losing control over Goa.
Health Minister Vishwajit Rane said he could not comment on Parrikar’s health. “The chief minister is unwell and it is the prerogative of the family to give information,” Rane said. “It is not for the minister for health.”
Rane urged people to hope and pray for Parrikar’s condition to improve. “Always believe that miracles can happen,” Rane said. “In any ailment, people (sometimes) get better by defying medical science.”
Vijay Tendulkar, BJP’s Goa unit chief, earlier played down speculation about Parrikar’s illness and Velingkar’s allegations that the party was forcing him to continue as chief minister. “His health condition is improving now and he will resume office in November,” Tendulkar had claimed.