The Goa Forward Party, the Bharatiya Janata Party’s ally in Goa, on Friday said there was no question of replacing Manohar Parrikar as chief minister of the state, PTI reported.
Parrikar, who is suffering from pancreatic cancer, has not made a single public appearance since his return to the state after he was discharged from Delhi’s All India Institute of Medical Sciences on October 14.
“I had met the chief minister while coming back from the closing ceremony of IFFI [the International Film Festival of India],” Goa Forward Party chief Vijai Sardesai told PTI. “He is fine. Where is the question of replacing him?” The film festival was held between November 20 and November 28.
Sardesai is the state’s agriculture minister in the cabinet. On November 22, he had claimed that Parrikar wanted to resign but the BJP high command would not let him.
Meanwhile, the Chief Minister’s Office on Friday said Parrikar would meet ministers, government officials and state BJP leaders at his home on Saturday. An official at the CMO said Parrikar was now feeling better, PTI reported.
Congress legislators have claimed that Parrikar’s absence has weakened governance. The party has repeatedly staked claim to form the government and wrote to President Ram Nath Kovind last month to warn against the dissolution of the Assembly by Parrikar through “foul play”.
More than 100 protestors, including activists, residents and Congress supporters, had marched to Parrikar’s residence in Panaji’s Dona Paula last week demanding his resignation. The Goa BJP had criticised the protest and pointed out that former Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru was also ill while in office.