Govt work hit by Parrikar’s absence: Vijai Sardesai

PANAJI: Town and country planning minister Vijai said here on Monday that the absence of chief minister Manohar from the state has impacted government functioning. “When the chief minister is not there, it will obviously have an impact on the state administration,” Sardesai, who is the president of an ally of the BJP-led government in the state, said.

He said with most of the important portfolios being held by the chief minister, all decisions concerning those departments have been pending. Parrikar, who returned last Wednesday after a week-long medical follow up in the US, has been undergoing further medical tests and treatment in a Mumbai hospital since Thursday.

Sardesai, however, said the coalition government “is doing its best” under the present circumstances.

“It is not that Parrikar is not available by choice, but there is a medical issue. People have to understand and I think Goa’s people will understand it,” he said.

Parrikar has been ailing since mid-February when he was admitted to Lilavati Hospital in Mumbai for pancreatic ailment. He was discharged after a week and returned to Goa to present the budget on February 21.

After spending a couple of days at home, he was admitted to state-run GMC hospital. Later, he was again admitted to Lilavati Hospital on March 5 and based on the advice of the Mumbai doctors, was taken to the US for advanced treatment on March 7 and returned to the state after three months.

But Sardesai, who is one of the main coalition partners in the Parrikar-led government, said the chief minister has delegated powers to a “good bureaucrat”.

Parrikar, when he left for the US, had formed a three-member cabinet advisory committee including Sardesai and had directed the chief secretary and his principal secretary to manage the day-to-day affairs of the state government’s functioning. But Parrikar had clearly mentioned in an official order that all important and crucial decisions pertaining to the state would be taken only by him.

“Although his (Parrikar’s) absence is being felt, the damage is minimised because of timely action,” he said.

Sardesai also said other ministers—urban development minister Francis D’Souza and power minister Pandurang Madkaikar both from BJP and PWD minister Ramakrishna Dhavalikar from another coalition partner MGP—also fell ill and is one thing that is not in anyone’s hand. “We are not god. We did not think the other ministers will also fall ill. This is in the hands of god. Health is something that cannot be predicted. Therefore, one should see too much into it,” he said.

“We will correct the situation, whatever is required when the chief minister comes back. I was abroad. When returning, I met him (in Mumbai),” he said.

Though the chief minister’s office had said Parrikar would return by Saturday, he has extended his stay in Mumbai and is now expected back in the state on Wednesday.

Sardesai said something needs to be done to bring administration back on track. “Parrikar will take some decision once he is back,” Sardesai said

When asked on Madkaikar’s health, Sardesai said when he went to meet Madkaikar, he was not allowed to meet him. “I’m not much aware about the health of Madkaikar. I heard that Madkaikar had sent a signed letter to the chief minister (that he will be returning to the state soon),” Sardesai said.
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