Over 100 protestors, including activists, residents and Congress supporters, marched to Goa Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar’s residence in Panaji’s Dona Paula on Tuesday evening demanding his resignation, reported The Indian Express. Police stopped the protestors 300 metres from the chief minister’s house.
Parrikar, who has pancreatic cancer, 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. The Opposition Congress has claimed that Parrikar’s ill-health has hindered the state’s administrative functioning.
The protestors, who had come together under the banner “People’s March For Restoration of Governance”, gave Parrikar 48 hours to step down as chief minister, failing which they said they would launch a state-wide agitation. Parrikar refused to meet the protestors due to his ill-health, said Deputy Collector Shashank Tripathy.
“We need a full-time chief minister,” said social activist Aires Rodrigues who led the march, according to PTI. “For the last nine months, the state administration has collapsed. The CM is not meeting his own ministers and MLAs,” Rodrigues said.
The protestors demanded that Parrikar resign as governance in the state was suffering. The protest march also coincided with a hunger strike being observed by activist Rajan Ghate demanding Parrikar’s resignation.
Congress leaders, including the party’s Goa unit chief Girish Chodankar, Leader of Opposition Chandrakant Kavlekar, MLAs Digambar Kamat, Aleixo Reginaldo Lourenco, Antonio Fernandes, Francis Silveira took part in the march. The Nationalist Congress Party and the Shiv Sena extended their support to the protest march.
“The people of the state are praying for the speedy recovery of the chief minister, but that does not mean he should continue to put the state administration on hold,” said Shiv Sena’s Goa unit chief Jitesh Kamat.
The Maharashtrawadi Gomantak Party, a partner in the Bharatiya Janata Party-led ruling coalition, has also demanded Parrikar’s resignation, The Indian Express reported. It has demanded that its minister Sudin Dhavalikar be given charge of the chief minister’s post and warned that it will contest the 2019 Lok Sabha polls against the BJP.
The Maharashtrawadi Gomantak Party has also filed a petition before the Panaji bench of the Bombay High Court, saying three BJP legislators, including Parrikar, are terminally ill and in no position to attend an Assembly session, if one is convened for a floor test, reported IANS. The petition named former ministers Francisco D’Souza and Pandurang Madkaikar as the other two ailing leaders.