Rumblings in Goa as cabinet meets without Manohar Parrikar
The Goa cabinet met on Thursday to shore up the state administration ‘impacted’ by the absence of ailing chief minister Manohar Parrikar even as rumblings of discontent grew louder in the ruling coalition.
Speaking to journalists after an informal meeting of ministers, Goa minister Vijai Sardesai said the other cabinet ministers would try and act as “shock absorbers” to ensure that the notion of government having come to a standstill does not spread.
“Manohar Parrikar is a tall leader from Goa, who has reached defence minister’s position. He is the CM of the state and he is now ailing and is in a hospital. Naturally, this will have an impact on the administration. Parrikar’s advice is available to us,” Sardesai, who is from the Goa Forward Party, said.
He said the cabinet ministers will try and meet every week “to shape up our short term goals to achieve long term targets”.
The Congress had on Wednesday said that the ruling government was imploding after the state witnessed several uprisings against the replacement of two ailing ministers by BJP legislators.
While an independent MLA Prasad Gaonkar, supporting the government, resigned from his position as chairman of a government-run corporation, the supporters of ministers who were dropped, as well as those MLAs who were overlooked for ministerial berths, have been voicing their displeasure against the government.
“Things have come to a standstill. There is no point in continuing in this post if I cannot do justice to it,” Gaonkar said, but added that he will continue to support the government for now.
On Wednesday, Francis D’Souza, one of the two ministers dropped, said he would not accept any position the government would offer him in its bid to mollify him.
“I have my dignity and if they cannot respect my dignity, I don’t want anything else. I will not accept the post of NRI commissioner,” D’Souza said from the US, where he is undergoing treatment.
The post of NRI Commissioner in the Goa government comes with cabinet rank and was held by Milind Naik, who has now been made a minister in the recent cabinet reshuffle.
The supporters of other MLAs, including Rajesh Patnekar of BJP expressed their anguish at his ministerial claim being overlooked while the supporters of Pandurang Madkaikar besieged BJP state president Vinay Tendulkar, confronting him over the dropping of their leader.
Sardesai, however, said there was no threat to the government. “We will give stability and good governance,” he said.