The Goa unit of the Bharatiya Janata Party on Wednesday criticised the Congress for supporting a protest march to ailing Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar’s house demanding his resignation, reported The Indian Express. The BJP pointed out that former Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru was also ailing during his last years in office.
“He [Nehru] was suffering from paralysis and could not function as a prime minister ought to,” said BJP state president Vinay Tendulkar at press conference in Panaji. “At that time, our leaders, including Atal Bihari Vajpayee, or the Jan Sangh did not take out a morcha to his house and demand his resignation, as we saw in Goa,” IANS quoted him as saying.
Tendulkar said Nationalist Congress Party chief Sharad Pawar was treated abroad for cancer when he was the agriculture minister in the United Progressive Alliance government led by the Congress. “The BJP did not make it an issue and the Congress did not drop him from the Central cabinet,” Tendulkar said.
State Congress president Girish Chodankar, however, termed the BJP’s statement on Nehru’s health a “bluff”. “They should just answer the main question: does Goa have a functioning government?”
Over 100 protestors, including activists, residents and Congress supporters, marched to Parrikar’s residence in Panaji’s Dona Paula on Tuesday evening demanding his resignation. 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.