Afternoon Voice

Cong demands Prez rule in Goa in absence of CM

The opposition Congress demanded Monday that President’s rule be imposed in Goa in the wake of the absence of chief minister Manohar Parrikar, who is currently in the US for a medical treatment.

Congress’ Goa spokesman Ramakant Khalap said the state is facing a “constitutional crisis”, and that he has sought an appointment with Governor Mridula Sinha to press for his party’s demand for President’s rule.

Parrikar has been “constantly absent” from the state because of health reasons, without handing over his charge to anyone, he said.

Also, Goa’s power minister Pandurang Madkaikar and urban development minister Francis D’Souza have been down with ailments, he noted while talking to reporters here.

There is no deadline when the CM and these ministers will be back in the state, Khalap said, adding “it is time for Governor Mridula Sinha to intervene in the matter as the state is facing a constitutional crisis”.

Parrikar, 62, underwent treatment at a US hospital for a pancreatic ailment between March and June this year.

He flew to the US again on August 10 for a follow-up and returned on August 22, but was admitted to a private hospital in Mumbai the next day.

He left for the US again last Thursday on doctors’ advice and is expected to return on September 8, a senior BJP leader said Friday.

D’Souza also went to USA for a medical treatment last month while Madkaikar is admitted to a hospital in Mumbai since June 5 after he suffered a brain stroke.

Khalap alleged that Parrikar and the two other ministers have violated the oath taken by them to discharge their duties towards the state.

“If you are sick and not able to pay attention to your duties then it is a violation of the oath…this tentamounts to failure of the constitutional machinery,” he claimed, demanding that the Goa government be dismissed and President’s rule be imposed in the state.

Khalap said his party has sought an appointment with Sinha to discuss the “crisis” prevailing in Goa, and listed various issues, like halting of the mining industry, the Mahadayi river water dispute and the alleged failure of law and order to check crimes in the state.

“We can understand the chief minister’s temporary absence, but if it is more than 24 hours, then powers are given to someone else,” he claimed.

“There is no government existing in Goa,” he said, and asked how many times has the council of ministers met.

Democracy requires a stable government led by the chief minister, he added.