Manohar Parrikar to remain Goa CM, changes to cabinet soon: Amit Shah

BJP president Amit Shah said Parrikar will continue on as CM despite illness, other portfolios to be changed.

Updated: Sep 23, 2018 23:09:34

By Gerard de Souza

Goa Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar in his office in Panaji. (PTI File Photo)

The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) would stick with Manohar Parrikar as Goa chief minister despite his illness.

“After discussing with Goa’s core team, we have taken a decision to continue with Manohar Parrikar as the chief minister,” BJP chief Amit Shah tweeted on Sunday. He added there will be a cabinet reshuffle and change in portfolios soon.

Parrikar was admitted to Delhi’s All India Institute of Medical Sciences on September 15 after expressing his inability to continue as chief minister.

The BJP and its alliance partners, Maharashtrawadi Gomantak Party (MGP) and the Goa Forward Party (GFP), have been squabbling over who will assume the charge of the chief minister’s portfolios.

The MGP had demanded that the senior most minister – the party’s leader Sudin Dhavalikar – be handed the charge.

The BJP is facing a leadership crisis with Parrikar and two other ministers – Francis D’Souza and Pandurang Madkaikar – also hospitalised. The other two BJP ministers in the current government, Mauvin Godinho and Vishwajit Rane, were with the Congress 18 months ago.

The opposition Congress staked its claim to form the government in Goa last week. The party has demanded the BJP-led alliance government’s dismissal in Goa citing the illness of Parrikar. In a letter to Governor Mridula Sinha, the Congress on Monday last said Parrikar was “unable to function and the governance has come to a standstill”.

A three-member Cabinet Advisory Committee (CAC) had been appointed when Parrikar was away from February to June for his pancreatic ailment treatment.

Sinha had formed the panel on Parrikar’s recommendation. The panel had a member each from the BJP and its alliance partners.

Officials said Parrikar had initially expressed his inability to discharge his duties and showed his willingness to distribute his portfolios among other ministers. But the move caused rumbling of displeasure within the coalition over who would be the interim chief minister.

Several BJP lawmakers have pitched for the interim arrangement – CAC – to ensure that the governance does not suffer on account of Parrikar’s absence.

There was no consensus over who should be given additional responsibilities as an interim chief minister. Public works department minister Dhavlikar being the senior most minister was tipped to take charge. But GFP and three independents, who have formed a separate group in the alliance, opposed it.

The cracks within the alliance has forced the BJP to stick with Parrikar for the time being. The Congress had emerged as the single largest part with 16 lawmakers in the 40-member house last year. The BJP formed the government despite winning just 13.

First Published: Sep 23, 2018 17:05:00


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