Amidst intense speculation about the health status of Goa Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar and questions raised by the Congress over the past week, his office on Tuesday released a picture of him chairing a meeting of the Investment Promotion Board held at his residence.
The image, shared on Facebook, shows Parrikar reclining on a sofa in the presence of Board members and two ministers. Seven proposals of the eleven considered were cleared, officials said, amounting to a combined investment of Rs 230 crore. “The chief minister made suggestions and participated in the discussion on all eleven proposals,” Tourism Minister Manohar Azgaonkar told Scroll.in.
Earlier, Vice Chairman of the Investment Promotion Board and IT minister Rohan Khaunte told media personnel that the meeting lasted for an hour and a half. “That itself tells about the stability of the person and his intent,” Khaunte said. “The media has questions but a person who is having health issues is having a meeting here. So I think everything is fine.”
An earlier October 17 meeting of the Board became controversial after it was claimed that the chief minister’s mandatory presence and assent was ascertained via video conference. When sections of the media and the Congress raised doubts about its veracity, the government backtracked. It said Tuesday’s meeting was a continuation of the October 17 meet.
The Congress, over the past few days, has raised doubts and sought video clip evidence of the CM’s participation at Tuesday’s IPB meet and a Cabinet meeting, which is scheduled for October 31 at the chief minister’s Dona Paula residence.
Since his arrival from AIIMS, Delhi, on October 14, Parrikar has not been seen in public and has been confined to his residence where ICU facilities have been set up.
No health bulletin or updates were issued by the CMO in the past fortnight, leading to speculation. The first official confirmation that he was suffering from pancreatic cancer was made on Saturday, nine months after he was first hospitalised in February. Party functionaries and ministers made conflicting statements. State BJP President Vinay Tendulkar had said Parrikar would resume duty in November, while two ministers, including Vishwajit Rane and Nilesh Cabral, spoke of hoping for a miracle.