The Goa Congress on Wednesday said it will launch the next phase of its protest against the absence of ailing Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar on November 30, PTI reported. The Opposition party has demanded a “full-time chief minister”, saying Goa is currently in the “intensive care unit”.
“We want a full-time chief minister who will hold regular cabinet meetings,” said Goa Congress president Girish Chodankar. “Right now, nobody knows what is happening. Who is running the government in the chief minister’s name? We do not know who is signing the documents and who is taking the decisions.”
The strike will be launched taluka-wise and will start in Bicholim, Chodankar said while adding that Goa had suffered in the chief minister’s absence for nine months. The party will stage a strike in Pernem on December 1 and hold “awareness campaigns” across the state. “All the talukas will be covered,” Chodankar said.
On November 21, over 100 protestors, including activists, residents and Congress supporters, had marched to Parrikar’s residence in Panaji’s Dona Paula demanding his resignation. The Goa BJP had criticised the move and pointed out that former Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru was also ill while in office.
Ghate said the Congress supports social activist and former Goa Forward Party spokesperson Trajana D’Mello’s petition in the High Court seeking Parrikar’s health report. On Monday, the High Court of Bombay at Goa had asked the chief secretary to reply to D’Mello’s plea, The Times of India reported.
Meanwhile, Right to Information activist Rajan Ghate suspended his 10-day hunger strike against the Parrikar-led government’s “administrative failure”, Prudent Media reported. Ghate said he will resume his strike after resting for a few days. The activist said he suspended his strike for health reasons after he was admitted to the Goa Medical College and Hospital for treatment.
On November 22, Goa Forward Party chief and state Agriculture Minister Vijai Sardesai had claimed that Parrikar wanted to resign, but the Bharatiya Janata Party high command would not let him. The Goa Forward Party is part of the BJP-led alliance in the state.