Goa Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar has pancreatic cancer, a state minister said on Saturday in the government’s first admission of the nature of his ailment, PTI reported. “He has got pancreatic cancer, there is no hiding of this fact,” said Health Minister Vishwajit Rane.
Reports over the last few months had claimed that Parrikar had pancreatic cancer, but the state government had officially remained tight-lipped about the exact nature of his condition.
Parrikar was admitted to a Goa hospital on February 16 with abdominal pain and food poisoning, and has since spent three months undergoing treatment in New York and a month in New Delhi. He has not made a single public appearance since his return to Goa after he was discharged from Delhi’s All India Institute of Medical Sciences on October 14, and has been confined to his home where ICU facilities have been set up.
“Let him be peaceful with his family,” Vishwajit Rane said. “That much right he has, after serving the people of Goa, that if he wants to spend some quality time with his family, nobody has the business to ask.”
Rane criticised the Congress for playing politics over Parrikar’s health. The state Congress had on Friday demanded that the government release a video of Parrikar to prove that he is fit enough to work. The party said that it would be forced to approach the court for directions to the Bharatiya Janata Party-led alliance government to issue a medical bulletin.
Congress legislators have claimed that Parrikar’s absence has hurt governance in the state. The party has repeatedly staked claim to form the government, and wrote to President Ram Nath Kovind earlier this month to warn against the dissolution of the Assembly by Parrikar through “foul play”. The party said it was willing to prove its strength in the Asembly “at any given time”, but soon after, two of its MLAs joined the Bharatiya Janata Party. This meant that the Congress’ strength in the 40-member Assembly went down from 16 to 14.
Rane also said Parrikar’s “absence” had not obstructed any administration, reported The Indian Express. Parrikar will chair two official meetings, including one with his Cabinet, at his home on October 31, an unidentified official at his office told PTI.