Goa: BJP MLAs to meet again on Sunday in Panaji

Last Updated: Sun, Mar 17, 2019 02:47 hrs

[India], Mar 17 (ANI): Amidst reports that ailing Goa Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar's health is fluctuating, Power Minister Nilesh Cabral on Saturday said a meeting of BJP MLAs will be called on Sunday at the party's Panaji office.

The meeting is scheduled to begin from 10.30 am, the minister said.

Meanwhile, sources told ANI that BJP national leaders BL Santosh and Avinash Khanna will arrive in Goa on Sunday to review Parrikar's health and discuss the political situation in Goa. The leaders will also plan a strategy for the upcoming bypolls in three constituencies and Lok Sabha election in North and South Goa.

The bypolls will be held along with the Lok Sabha elections on April 23 include Shiroda, Mandrem and Maspusa seats.

"At present, there are no demands regarding the removal of Parrikar and the party leadership from the Centre to Goa firmly stands in his favour. As long as Parrikar is there he will serve as the Chief Minister and there will be no change in the leadership," sources said.

Parrikar who was diagnosed with a pancreatic ailment last year, has been in and out of hospitals in Goa, Mumbai, Delhi, and New York since February last year. He has since then made a few public appearances in the past few months on a wheelchair with a tube in his nose and a urinary sheath connected to him.

Late Saturday night, a group of six MLAs, who are alliance partners in the government, met Parrikar at his private residence and asserted that Parrikar's health condition is stable.

The group of MLAs included Goa Forward Party's Vijai Sardesai, Jayesh Salgaonkar, Vinod Palyekar and Independents - Rohan Khaunte, Govind Gawade and Prasad Gaonkar.

Sardesai said that the group of MLAs had met to inquire about Parrikar's health condition.

"We went to meet him to see how he is. All six of us have given unequivocal support to the CM," he said.

"When his ailment was detected and CM showed willingness to step down that time we had asked for permanent solution and stability. Today when his health deteriorated but still we are with him. He is stable. I don't know medical science so cannot tell what exactly his stage is," the GFP leader said.

"We went to show the solidarity. He is not on life support. I don't know what medical term we can use for it. We have to respect his privacy. We are with him. From chief minister's office, they have said he is stable, we will take that he is stable," he said.

Reiterating the same, Union Minister for AYUSH Shripad Naik said, "His health condition witnessed slight up and down but he is stable now. The meeting of BJP MLA's that was called by party is about by-election and Lok Sabha elections."

Meanwhile, the Goa Congress on Saturday wrote to Governor Mridula Sinha and staked claim to form government in the state, stating that former Goa deputy chief minister and BJP lawmaker Francis D'Souza death, who died in February, has brought down the party's majority in the Goa assembly.

In his letter to the governor, Congress Legislature Party chief Chandrakant Kavlekar wrote, "Consequent upon the sad demise of Francis D'Souza, MLA, who belonged to the BJP, it is humbly submitted that the incumbent BJP-led state government under the leadership of Manohar Parrikar, which has long lost the trust of the people and now also lost strength in the House."

"It is, therefore, incumbent upon you to dismiss the state government led by the BJP to ensure that the Indian National Congress, which is the single-largest party in the august House and is presently enjoying the majority, be called to form government," Kavlekar said.

"Any attempt to bring Goa under President's rule will be illegal and will be challenged as deemed fit," the letter read.

The Congress party had staked to form the government in October last year too but then its claims were not accepted by the Governor.

The present strength of the Goa Assembly stands at 37 instead of 40. (ANI)