Amid concerns over Manohar Parrikar’s health, Goa BJP thinks of phase of ‘political transition’
Congress leader and former CM Digambar Kamat has denied speculation that he was joining the BJP and taking over the reins from Parrikar.
The Goa unit of the Bharatiya Janata Party said on Sunday that it is thinking of a phase of political transition, a day after state Deputy Speaker Michael Lobo said Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar is very ill, and there are no chances of his recovery. However, the BJP also claimed that the Goa government is stable, PTI reported.
“Our BJP leadership in Delhi and Goa are very strong, stable and are already thinking on Goa political transit phase,” BJP’s state Media Coordinator Sandesh Sadhale said. “We will come out of all the things with greater success. Do not believe in any rumours or any news being spread via social media.”
The Congress, which has 14 MLAs in a 37-member Assembly, had on Saturday staked claim to form the government.
On Sunday evening, the Chief Minister’s Office of Goa tweeted that his condition is “extremely critical”.
Meanwhile, Congress leader and former Goa Chief Minister Digambar Kamat left for New Delhi on Sunday, fuelling speculation he was quitting his party to join the BJP to be sworn in as the chief minister.
However, Kamat refuted the allegations. “News about my entry in BJP is being planted by vested interests, it is bogus,” he told ANI. “I will return to Goa tonight and attend the Congress Legislature Party meeting on Monday. I had gone to Delhi for personal work.”
Kamat was second in command in the BJP till 2005 when he switched over to the Congress and was the chief minister from 2007 to 2012.
Lobo earlier said that at a BJP meeting on Saturday evening, a discussion was held over Kamat joining the BJP. “The decision on whether he will be the chief minister will be taken by the central leadership,” Lobo told ANI.
Speaking to The Indian Express, Lobo said, “Digambar Kamat has no business in Delhi. He has gone to join the BJP.”
Goa Pradesh Congress Committee President Girish Chodankar accused the BJP of spreading rumours about Kamat Chodankar and claimed the saffron party was trying to scare its alliance partners with such speculation. “This is a game plan of the BJP’s dirty tricks department, which is spreading rumours to malign the image of Kamat and the Congress,” Chodankar said. “Kamat is very much in the Congress and he will continue with the party.”
Parrikar has been suffering from pancreatic cancer and has made fewer public appearances in recent months. State minister Vijai Sardesai met Parrikar on Saturday, and said that though the chief minister’s health has deteriorated, he is in a stable condition. Meanwhile, the BJP held a meeting of its MLAs in the evening.
“It was specifically told to all the MLAs that we should not leave the state,” an unidentified legislator told PTI.
“If the government has to be run you need a chief minister, you need a cabinet leader because a cabinet has to take many decisions,” BJP core committee member Dayanand Mandrekar said according to The Indian Express. “If Manohar Parrikar was well, there would be no need to change the leader. But because his health is critical now and there is day to day deterioration, the party has to take some decision. I think it will happen.”