PANAJI: Manohar Parrikar, the ailing Goa Chief Minister on Sunday dominated the social media conversation after a surprise public appearance by visiting an upcoming bridge site.
The photo of the gaunt, visibly ailing chief minister drew criticism and evoked sympathetic reactions from both his supporters and critics alike.
The photographs, some of which were issued by the Chief Minister’s Office (CMO), showed an equally unwell Parrikar, with medical appendage suspended from his nose and wearing a safety helmet, speaking to government officials and engineers who are overseeing the construction of the third bridge across the Mandovi river off Panaji.
A day before, Mr Parrikar had tweeted a photo himself, who looked frail in it unveiling the foundation stone of a National Institute of Technology, Goa campus.
Unveiled foundation stone for permanent campus of National Institute of Technology Goa in presence of HRD Minister Shri. @PrakashJavdekar. The state’s higher education sector will get a major boost with NIT Goa as 40% of the seats at the institution will be reserved for Goans. pic.twitter.com/Ih46Kzq2pD
— Manohar Parrikar Memorial (@manoharparrikar) December 15, 2018
“How inhuman to force him to continue working and doing photo-ops,” said Omar Abdullah, the former chief minister of Jammu and Kashmir. “Why can’t he be allowed to deal with his illness without all this pressure and tamasha?”
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? https://t.co/iq0dwXCHmE
— Omar Abdullah (@OmarAbdullah) December 16, 2018
Priyanka Chaturvedi, a spokesperson for the Congress party, sounded just as horrified. “With BJP impossible is nothing….to grab power, latch on to power. Take care CM Saab, because clearly, your party won’t.,” she tweeted.
Is that a tube that is inserted in his nose? Can a party be so power hungry to make a man work despite his illness? With BJP impossible is nothing….to grab power, latch on to power.
Take care CM Saab, because clearly, your party won’t. https://t.co/xBwv5qXvtb
— Priyanka Chaturvedi (@priyankac19) December 16, 2018
Journalist Prashant Kumar tweeted, “Manohar Parrikar, wish you all the best and best of health, sir. This picture is a real example of how dangerous politics might get, sometimes. Can he please be allowed to have rest and get better?? He looks a pale shadow of himself.”
Journalist Nikhil Waghle wrote, “This is pathetic and inhuman. Mr Parrikar needs complete rest as a cancer patient and his party exploiting him.”
Parrikar, 63, 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 on October 14 and since then Sunday is the first instance when Parrikar moved out of his private residence for official purposes.