Congress Sees Rafale Link in Why BJP is Keeping Ailing Manohar Parrikar as Goa CM

Congress said it has cooperated with the BJP government in Goa on account of CM Parrikar’s ailing health, but without a full-time CM, governance has come to a standstill.


Panjim: The Congress ramped up its attack against the Bharatiya Janata Party on Saturday for sticking to ailing Manohar Parrikar as chief minister in Goa despite governance coming to a standstill, and even linked it to the controversial Rafale deal.

Goa Congress Pradesh Committee chairman Girish Chodankar said he suspects that the BJP fears to remove Parrikar from his post because he knows “many secret details” of the deal from his time as the defense minister.

“If they upset him, he may put those details in the public domain,” Chodankar said while addressing a press conference in Panjim.
He added that until now, Congress cooperated with the BJP government in the state on account of CM Parrikar’s ailing health, but without a full-time CM, governance has been affected.

Parrikar has been undergoing treatment for a pancreatic ailment in New Delhi’s All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) since September 15 and before that, he underwent treatment in the United States for three months.

The BJP has, however, ruled out any change of guard in the state and made it clear that Parrikar, who holds the key to BJP’s coalition, will remain CM.

“Parrikar is recovering and he will continue to be the chief minister. The chief minister is expected to return to Goa from AIIMS for Diwali,” Union minister and BJP leader Shripad Naik said after a meeting on Friday.

Parrikar is expected to shed “many” of his portfolios after Dussehra to lighten his workload and to ensure the government functions normally.

But the Congress has demanded a floor test in the state. Party leader Pawan Khera said the BJP has lost the support of its allies in the state and they too admit governance has come to a standstill. “Two ministers were removed from their post stating health reasons. Why can’t BJP let CM Parrikar resign?” he asked.

The BJP has 14 seats in the Assembly, its allies Goa Forward Party and MGP have three each. Three Independents and an MLA from Nationalist Congress Party also support the BJP. The Congress has repeatedly staked claim to form a government in the state but has been rebuffed each time.

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