Parrikar threatening people from hospital: Congress

Panaji: The Congress on Friday alleged that ailing Goa Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar is “threatening people” from his hospital room.

The party also demanded a medical bulletin on the status of the Chief Minister, who after being hospitalised in Goa, Mumbai and New York over the last few months, is now being treated for advanced pancreatic cancer at the All India Institute of Medical Sciences in New Delhi.

“He may be in the hospital yes. I hope you (Parrikar) are very well but I am getting messages that while sitting in the hospital, you are calling people, threatening them,” Congress observer for Goa A. Chellakumar said. This is the first direct assault by the Congress.

The allegation comes a day after Vijai Sardesai, President of the Goa Forward Party, a coalition ally, told the media that Parrikar spoke to him over the phone on Thursday over administrative matters.

Chellakumar also said that in view of the Chief Minister’s alleged involvement in a Rs 1.44 lakh crore illegal mining scam which is being probed by the Goa Lokayukta, he should assure the people that he would forfeit his properties if he is found guilty.

“I pray to God even now, let Manohar Parrikar get well soon. Let God give him a long life, but it is my duty also to remind him. All these days you initiated so many actions on so many former ministers. In all the corruption charges, you filed complaints. Moreover you have attached some of their properties also. Now it is your turn,” Chellakumar said.

The Goa Lokayukta is probing the mining lease allotment scam, in which former Chief Minister Laxmikant Parsekar who succeeded Parrikar and held office from 2014 to 2017, is one of the key accused.

Parsekar in his affidavit filed before the anti-corruption body has said, that he renewed the bulk of the mining leases by adopting processes put in place by his predecessor and that the renewals were done in adherence to a formal policy, on advice from the advocate general and were in sync with a High Court ruling.

The BJP has denied the allegations, calling them “baseless and unsubstantiated”.

The Congress observer is in Goa to monitor political developments following Parrikar’s hospitalisation that have raised doubts over the continuance of the Bharatiya Janata Party-led coalition government.

With ruling allies and several Independent MLAs stepping up pressure on the BJP for a greater role in governance as well as on issues related to choice of a leader of the coalition, the Congress too claims that it is in touch with disgruntled non-BJP MLAs, who Chellakumar said, are keen on a switch over.

But he clarified that the Congress is not in a hurry to form a government in the coastal state.