Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar flew out of Goa at 8 this morning for Delhi, where he will be treated at the premier All India Institute of Medical Sciences. A special flight was arranged by the Prime Minister’s Office after conversations between state and central government leaders.
Parrikar had returned to Goa on September 6 after his third visit to the USA and had to be, almost immediately, admitted again at a private hospital in north Goa’s Candolim village, 10 km from here.
Earlier this year, he was treated for several months in the US for a pancreatic ailment.
“His health condition is not good… We have to hope for the best,” BJP lawmaker Michael Lobo, one of the many who had called on the chief minister before he was flown to Delhi, told HT.
Lobo said the ailing chief minister had “given the go-ahead to (temporarily) redistribute his portfolios among other ministers,” Lobo, the deputy speaker of the assembly, said.
Many of them could temporarily go to Sudin Dhavalikar, the public works minister and alliance partner Maharashtrawadi Gomantak Party (MGP), a BJP leader said.
A decision on allocation of the portfolios is expected only after Ram Lal, the BJP’s general secretary (organisation) and his deputy, visit the state over the weekend to reach out to party lawmakers and allies.
Dhavalikar, who was appointed leader of the Goa Legislative Assembly during Parrikar’s earlier visit to the hospital, said on Friday that talk of a leadership change was premature.
Leadership is a sensitive issue, with Parrikar seen as the glue holding the BJP’s alliance together in Goa. Two of the BJP’s allies including Dhavalikar’s MGP had made their joining the alliance in 2017 conditional to Manohar Parrikar leading the government.
The chief minister had spoken to BJP president Amit Shah on Friday evening to update him about him about the political situation in the state and his health. The chief minister is said to have spoken about relinquishing at least some of the portfolios
During his earlier period of absence, the chief minister had put in place a three-member cabinet advisory committee while he continued to personally monitor and clear files from the US.
The chief minister was first hospitalised on February 14 for what was reported to be a case of food poisoning. He was later shifted to Mumbai and the state government had only said that he would be “unavailable for next two days as he has to undergo a routine health check-up in Mumbai.”
On February 16, the government said the chief minister “is well and under observation. He is likely to be discharged in a day or two. It is a case of mild pancreatitis.”
The next day, however, it was reported that the chief minister was “under monitoring for his inflamed pancreas”.
The chief minister did present the state’s financial statement in the assembly on February 23, the same day he was discharged from hospital but had to be readmitted to hospital two days later.