Panaji: Ailing Goa Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar on Saturday, September 15, headed to the national capital via a special chartered flight for further treatment and examination at the All India Institute for Medical Sciences (AIIMS).
Parrikar, who is suffering from advanced pancreatic cancer, also held meetings with Speaker Pramod Sawant and Deputy Speaker Michael Lobo amid talks of distribution of some portfolios currently being looked after by him.
“Portfolios would be distributed today to existing ministers so that the administration of Goa can run smoothly and ministers can take decisions on any files. He will distribute 48 portfolios but will keep two or three like Home, Finance, GAD for himself,” Lobo told reporters after meeting Parrikar at a private hospital in the beach village of Candolim, located 15 km from Panaji.
Apart from holding key portfolios, Parrikar is holding charge of ministries allocated to Francis D’Souza and Pandurang Madkaikar, both of whom have been hospitalised due to severe ailments.
A central team of Bharatiya Janata Party observers is also expected to arrive in Goa and meet legislators and representatives of allied parties, while also finalising an alternative leader of the BJP-led coalition government in Parrikar’s absence.
Lobo also said, that the decision of change of leadership has not been taken yet and that Parrikar would continue as the Chief Minister.
“This can be only discussed at a time when he cannot continue anymore. Till then it is not right to discuss. The national leaders will discuss with core committee. If that need arises, only then a decision on change will be taken,” he added.
Parrikar has been in and out of hospitals in the US, Mumbai and Goa since February.
The Chief Minister’s continued absence from office has been a subject of criticism among the Opposition as well as civil society.