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Monday, Oct 21, 2019

Amid Manohar Parrikar’s health concerns, Goa BJP prepares for political transition

While the party admitted that there was no question of a leadership change for as long as Manohar Parrikar “is there”, party sources said that the talk of an arrangement to succeed Parrikar has already begun.

india Updated: Mar 17, 2019 12:24 IST
Gerard Desouza
Gerard Desouza
Hindustan Times, Panaji
Goa Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar
Goa Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar(PTI file photo)
         

The Goa BJP on Sunday morning said that its leadership was “already thinking about a political transit phase” as political developments heightened in Goa in the wake of chief minister Manohar Parrikar’s deteriorating health situation.

While the party admitted that there was no question of a leadership change for as long as Manohar Parrikar “is there”, party sources said that the talk of an arrangement to succeed Parrikar has already begun.

“Our party’s leadership in Delhi and Goa is very strong, stable and is already thinking about the Goa political transit phase. We will come out of all things with greater success,” Sandesh Sadhale the BJP Goa media coordinator said in a statement.

Goa Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar’s health took a turn for the worse on Friday night but the chief minister’s office has in a statement said that he is ‘stable’.

Parrikar has been battling pancreatic cancer since February last year but faced with a lack of a viable alternative, has continued to be in the chief minister’s chair.

Congress leader and former Goa Chief Minister Digambar Kamat left for Delhi on a “business trip”, fuelling speculation that he was quitting the party to join the BJP in order to be sworn in as chief minister.

However, Kamat while speaking to reporters before his departure said he was only departing on a “business trip”.

The BJP, meanwhile, had called for a meeting of its core committee which the party said is to discuss the finalisation of candidates for the Lok Sabha polls and the three bypolls, but that the issue of Parrikar’s health would also be discussed.

“If Manohar Parrikar was there would be no need to change leader because now his health is critical and there is day to day deterioration the party has to take some decision. I think it will happen. If government has to be run, you need a chief minister, you need a cabinet leader because cabinet takes many decisions,” Dayanand Mandrekar a former BJP minister and member of the core committee member said.

Also read | ‘Dismiss Parrikar govt’: Congress stakes claim in Goa, BJP in huddle

BJP’s central observers led by B L Santosh are also expected to arrive in the state later today to take stock of the situation.

Late on Saturday evening, the BJP held meetings with its MLAs and party leaders to discuss party’s future strategy.

“Parrikar deteriorated a lot since last night (Friday night) and doctors are checking on him continuously, but they are not able to say he will improve. That is why an emergency meeting was called on what should be our future strategy,” BJP leader Michael Lobo had said.

Saturday night, BJP’s organisation secretary Satish Dhond also called on Vijai Sardesai leader of Goa Forward, a crucial alliance partner in the BJP led government.

Earlier on Friday, in an act of political posturing, Vijai along with a group of six MLAs called on Parrikar to “express solidarity with him” and to send a wider political message that the six MLAs were together as one unit.

On Friday, the Goa Congress staked claim to form the government in Goa claiming to be the single largest party in the wake of the death of BJP MLA Francis D’Souza and expecting that the BJP’s numbers may further dwindle.

First Published: Mar 17, 2019 12:04 IST

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