After bridge visit, Parrikar should unfurl tri-colour on Goa Liberation Day: Congress

Panaji: A day after ailing Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar made his first public appearance in two months, inspecting an under-construction bridge near Panaji, Goa Congress president Girish Chodankar now wants the former Defence Minister to unfurl the tri-colour on the occasion of Goa Liberation Day on December 19.

In his tweet on Monday, Chodankar said that Parrikar should on Wednesday, December 19, show the “same spirit” as shown on Sunday while inspecting a bridge and honour Goa’s Liberation.

“Will appreciate @goacm effort to personally visit & inspect the bridge, if the same spirit is displayed on 19 Dec to unfurl our tricolor & deliver #LiberationDay address & honour Goa’s Liberation. To unfurl tricolour is much easier & honourable job than visiting bridge,” Chodankar said.

On December 19, 1961, the Indian armed forces liberated Goa from 451 years of colonial Portuguese rule.

On Sunday, images of Parrikar wearing medical paraphernelia — a ryles tube running from the nasal passage into the stomach — while inspecting a bridge near Panaji, came under both praise from his supporters as well as criticism from several top political leaders across the country.

“He has a tube inserted through his nose into his digestive tract. How inhuman to force him to continue working & doing photo ops. Why can’t he be allowed to deal with his illness without all this pressure & tamasha?” Omar Abdullah had tweeted after the images went viral, even as several state BJP leaders and ministers praised Parrikar for his spirit.

Parrikar is suffering from advanced pancreatic cancer and has been in and out of hospitals in Goa, Mumbai, New York and Delhi since February.

He returned from New Delhi’s All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) on October 14 and since then Sunday was the first instance when Parrikar moved out of his private residence for an official visit.

His surprise bridge inspection trip also comes at a time when the Panaji bench of the Bombay High Court is due to pronounce its order vis-a-vis a petition filed by a local politician Trajano D’Mello, who has sought that the court direct the state Chief Secretary to evaluate the former Defence Minister’s health by a panel of expert doctors and release the medical report in public domain.

The government has maintained that the petition was political in nature and argued for Parrikar’s right to privacy.