Parrikar flown to AIIMS amid buzz of Goa rejig
PANAJI: Goa chief minister Manohar Parrikar was on Saturday flown to the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) in New Delhi for treatment of a suspected pancreatic ailment within days of returning from a hospital stint in the US, leaving in limbo the future of a coalition government he has glued together.
Amid political posturing by partners and independents whose support is crucial for the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)led government of Goa, the BJP was biding its time as it sought a way out of the political fix it found itself in, compounded by the fact that its senior-most leader in the state and a former deputy to Parrikar, Francis D’Souza, is also in hospital in the US.
The 62-year-old chief minister spoke to BJP national president Amit Shah on Friday evening to update the latter about his health condition, after which a decision was taken to shift him to AIIMS, where he was admitted on Saturday afternoon. A team of BJP central leaders is expected in the state on Sunday.
“For now, we only wish Parrikar a speedy recovery. The party will take a decision at an appropriate time,” Shah said at a news conference in Hyderabad when asked if the BJP had decided on an alternative leader. Deputy speaker and BJP legislator Michael Lobo said Parrikar was no longer in a position to attend to official work from the hospital bed like he used to earlier. “He cannot monitor anything. There is likely to be a change in the next few days; we have to wait and watch,” Lobo said. On Friday evening, Parrikar visited his ancestral home for Ganesh Chaturthi celebrations for about 25 minutes. He is not known to miss the annual festival and this year only made it on the second day. A host of ruling party members, minister and lawmakers called on the chief minister on Friday.
Lobo, who called on Parrikar at a private hospital in Candolim before his departure for New Delhi, described his condition as “not good.”
Reports indicate that Parrikar is not responding to medication and is progressively becoming weaker, which led to his being shifted to All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS).
As it faces pressure from alliance partners to put an alternative in place in the absence of Parrikar, who has held the coalition together since it was formed after the February 2017 state elections, the Bhartiya Janta Party (BJP) has limited options before it: dissolution of the house to make way for early elections, appointing Union minister of state for AYUSH Shripad Naik as interim CM or handing charge to someone else in the cabinet.