Panaji, October 29: Goa Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar on Tuesday put an end to rumours about his death by calling a cabinet meeting tomorrow. Goa cabinet minister Vijay Sardesai confirmed Parrikar has called a meeting, apparently to rest rumours about the chief minister's death. Parrikar will hold the cabinet meeting at his residence.
"Goa CM Manohar Parrikar has called a cabinet meeting at his residence tomorrow. This goes to prove that the chief minister is working and is committed towards good governance," Sardesai, who represents the Fatorda constituency, told news agency ANI. Rumours about Parrikar's demise started floating again on Monday when Goa Congress said the CM might have died.
Congress spokesperson Jitendra Deshprabhu asked the BJP-led government to prove that Parrikar was alive. "Yes, we are taking that call. It is an extreme call that the honourable Chief Minister may not be there at all," he told reporters, drawing flak from the ruling party. Deshprabhu speculated Parrikar's death because he hasn't made any public appearance since October 14.
Reacting to the Congress's claim, Goa BJP General Secretary Sadanand Shet Tanavade said that "Deshprabhu must be frustrated if he is making statements like this", as reported by news agency IANS. He further accused the Congress of lowering the political discourse. Last week, the Goa government finally admitted that Parrikar was suffering from pancreatic cancer.
The Goa BJP and the state government had been tight-lipped on Parrikar's ailment for months. Parrikar has been in an out of hospitals in Goa, Mumbai, New York and Delhi. His absence has created a political leadership vacuum in Goa. He was discharged from Delhi's All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) on October 14.
Parrikar is currently bedridden at his private residence, which party sources said has been converted into a sophisticated medical facility, with doctors and para-medical staff on 24-hour duty.