Manohar Parrikar 'extremely critical', BJP MLAs asked not to leave Goa
Panaji, Mar 17: The ruling Bharatiya Jananta Party (BJP) has asked Goa BJP MLAs not to leave the state amid reports that Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar's health is deteriorating. The Goa BJP on Sunday morning said that its leadership was "already thinking about a political transit phase" as political developments heightened in Goa.
The health of Parrikar, who is suffering from a pancreatic ailment, had deteriorated earlier in the day sparking hectic political activities across parties in the coastal State. 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.
Chief Minister @manoharparrikar's health condition is extremely critical. Doctors are trying their best.— CMO Goa (@goacm) March 17, 2019
Speaking to news agency ANI, Goa BJP general secretary Sadanand Tanawade said the legislators have been told not to leave the state as the situation political situation continues to hang in the balance in Goa.
Goa Congress unit had earlier written to Governor Mridula Sinha to stake a claim and form a new government. Soon after Congress wrote to the governor, BJP leaders held a late-night meeting at the party headquarters in Panaji. A meeting has also been scheduled for today and a decision is likely on Parrikar's replacement.
BJP leader and Deputy Speaker in Goa Assembly, Michael Lobo, confirmed in the morning that Goa CM's health had deteriorated, adding that a discussion could soon take place between party members on selecting Parrikar's replacement. "His health has deteriorated. Senior leaders are coming today. They will discuss the matter with allies Goa Forward Party and Maharashtrawadi Gomantak Party. Someone from within the party will be selected. Party has decided it should be one among the legislators," Michael Lobo said.
Meanwhile, 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".
BJP's ally Goa Forward Party (GFP) may also "rethink" its support strategy in the wake of Parrikar's illness. GFP chief Vijai Sirdesai said, "Parrikar's health is a cause of political concern. BJP is also discussing possibilities, so we a group of MLAs from our party and independents met. We had supported Manohar Parrikar, and not a party. So in case of any eventuality, we will rethink. Everything will be on the table to discuss and there will be a rethink. Let them come with a proposal."