Panaji: Goa Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar, who on Wednesday reached the US for medical treatment, is reportedly suffering from an advanced stage of pancreatic cancer.
Sources in Mumbai's Lilavati Hospital and the Goa Medical College and Hospital -- the two health facilities where the former Defence Minister was admitted since February 15 -- have confirmed he has cancer.
Meanwhile, both the ruling and opposition parties in the state have demanded that the government should make a formal statement on the health of the Chief Minister, who has landed in New York and has been taken to a specialist health facility there.
"It's at quite an advanced stage", said a source who declined to be identified, adding that there was "probable metastasis", meaning it may have spread.
On February 18, some media reports had mentioned that the Chief Minister was suffering from advanced stage IV of pancreatic cancer. The hospital had denied this.
Lilavati Hospital had said in a statement: "It has been brought to our notice, various malicious and misleading reports/rumours are floating around in the electronic/print media with regards to the health of the Chief Minister of Goa. We categorically deny all such rumours. We reiterate that Chief Minister of Goa is being treated and is responding well to the treatment."
Parrikar was discharged from Lilavati Hospital late on Tuesday. A statement issued by the Chief Minister's Office late on Wednesday said that Parrikar had landed in the US on Wednesday evening (IST) and maintained that "he is fine and will undergo further treatment".A
"He is diagnosed with an advanced stage of cancer of the pancreas... He has already been administered one round of chemotherapy when he was admitted to Lilavati Hospital," sources at the Goa hospital said.
Parrikar had complained of stomach pain on February 14 and was rushed to the GMCH and flown to Lilavati Hospital in Mumbai the following day, which was then attributed to "food poisoning".
Soon after he was admitted to the Mumbai hospital, the Chief Minister's Office steadfastly maintained that Parrikar was suffering from "mild pancreatitis" and he was expected to be discharged shortly.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi called on Parrikar at the hospital on February 18 when he was in the city.
Parrikar returned to Goa on February 22 to deliver a truncated annual budget speech, but alarms bells sounded when he was again hospitalised on February 25 at the GMCH after officials claimed he suffered a bout of "dehydration" and "blood pressure".
BJP cadres have been organising "Mahamrutyunjay japs" and prayer services in Goa's temples and churches respectively for the last couple of weeks.
The Congress has demanded that Parrikar should come clean on the nature of his illness because he was a public person elected by the people of Goa.
Goa Forward, a ruling ally, said the people of Goa should have a clear picture of their Chief Minister's health.
Aam Aadmi Party General Secretary Pradeep Padgaonkar said that before he left for the US, Parrikar should have been transparent to the people of Goa about his affliction.
"He should have told the Goans about what he is suffering from. By not doing so, he has created an atmosphere of distrust and confusion in Goa," Padgaonkar said.
The Chief Minister was discharged on March 1 and was recuperating at home until he flew to the US on Wednesday morning.