2 ailing Goa ministers dropped, replaced; Cong cries hypocrisy
Goa governor Mridula Sinha Monday inducted two BJP legislators — Milind Naik and Nilesh Cabral — in Manohar Parrikar cabinet during a ceremony at the Raj Bhavan, replacing the ailing ministers Francis D’Souza and Pandurang Madkaikar.
D’Souza was the minister of urban development and law, while Madkaikar was the minister of power and social welfare.
Nilesh Cabral, a BJP lawmaker from South Goa district’s Curchorem seat located in the heart of the mining belt and has been championing the cause of resumption of mining, while Milind Naik represents the district’s Mormugao seat.
Chief minister Manohar Parrikar, who is currently receiving treatment at Delhi’s All India Institute of Medical Sciences for pancreatic ailment, was looking after the portfolios of his two ailing ministers in addition to his own set of 28 portfolios. The number of ministers unwell had only aggravated the political situation in Goa. While Madkaikar had suffered a stroke in June and has been at a Mumbai hospital, D’Souza is at a hospital in the US.
D’Souza didn’t take kindly to the news of being dropped. “I am happy with the decision. This is the fruit of working for the party for 20 long years. I have been ill for only one month,” he said.
The reshuffle is aimed at sending out the impression that the government is seeking to revive the administration stalled by three absentee ministers, including the chief minister, because of ailments.
Goa BJP president Vinay Tendulkar said the more important decision about the redistribution of the chief minister’s portfolios would be announced in 8 to 10 days. “It is the prerogative of the chief minister. He will make his decision known,” he said.
The Congress, however, said it was ‘laughable’ that the ministers were being dropped on the health grounds while the chief minister is being allowed to continue. “It’s hypocrisy. The CM is himself on the bed and his condition is worse than the two ministers who he dropped,” State Congress president Girish Chodankar said.