Manohar Parrikar's absence results in political crisis

Manohar Parrikar

Manohar Parrikar

Ramakant Khalap, a spokesman for the Parliament of Goa, claimed that the absence of the chief minister and two other ministers violated their oath to the state.

The opposition to the Government in Goa's Parliament demanded, on Monday, that the "rule of the president" should be imposed on the state due to the prolonged absence of the chief minister, Manohar Parrikar, who is currently in the United States treating a health problem.

The spokesman for that body, Ramakant Khalap, said the state is facing a "constitutional crisis" with the absence of Parrikar. Khalap recalled the recent interview of the Governor of Goa, Mridula Sinha, who has been asking for a quick resolution to the present impasse. Parrikar is "constantly absent" for health reasons.

Ministers Pandurang Madkaikar and Francis D'Souza, also absent because of illness, make the whole situation worse. For Khalap there is no doubt, "It's time for Governor Sinha to intervene," because there is no timeframe for things to be solved.

According to the local press, Parrikar, 62, underwent hospital treatment in the United States due to a pancreatic problem between March and June of this year. He returned to Goa, but on August 10th, he went back to the United States to continue treatment. He returned to India on August 22nd but was admitted to a private hospital in Bombay the following day. Last week, he left for the US again, following doctors' advice, and should only return on September 8th.

D'Souza also went to the United States for medical treatment last month, while Madkaikar has been hospitalized in Mumbai since June 5, after suffering a stroke. The opposition spokesman calls for the ministers' resignation "because of their inability to carry out their work." Khalap also said he hopes to discuss with the Governor of Goa the "constitutional crisis" that has devastated the state and has listed several issues that deserve special attention such as the suspension of the mining industry, the water dispute on the Mahadayi River and the problems related to crime.

"We do not want to be insensitive to their health, we understand the temporary absence of the chief minister, but never for more than 24 hours. We think that when it is longer than that, the powers should be handed over to another person," the spokesman concluded in a conversation with journalists. "Actually, at the moment, there is no government in Goa and democracy demands a stable government led by the chief minister."