Claiming that there has been complete collapse of the state administration in the absence of ailing Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar, who is currently undergoing treatment in the US, the Congress legislature party on Friday decided to await the return of Parrikar till September 5 to launch protests across the state against the paralysed administration.
Addressing media persons in the assembly complex at Porvorim, CLP leader Chandrakant Kavlekar said, “Earlier when the Chief Minister had left Goa for treatment we had been told that he would return within eight days. However, he took over two months to return. Now they are saying that he will return by September 5…. we will wait. If he does not return by September 5 then we will hold a meeting and decide the course of action.”
He said the government should come out with a medical bulletin on the health of the Chief Minister.
However, the Congress decision to wait for launching the agitation did not go down well with some members of the party. In fact, two of the MLAs disagreed with the decision.
Curtorim MLA Alexio Reginaldo Lourenco even walked out of the meeting after having a spat with a senior Congress MLA, accusing the CLP of being “insensitive towards the issues concerning the people of Goa”.
He claimed that his views were not considered by the CLP leader and other members.
“I asked the MLAs as what Manohar Parrikar would have done if he were in our place. They replied that Parrikar as an Opposition leader would have made a mess of the whole thing and would have disturbed the peace of our government, if we were in power. So I asked them: why are we lagging behind?… why the CLP cannot play the role of an Opposition?” Lourenco said.
Hitting out at his own party for being a ‘lame duck’ Opposition, Curtorim MLA thundered, “We have been in the Opposition for the last one and half year… now you cannot wait to take an appointment of the ministers and the Chief Minister… Although the Chief Minister comes back after two weeks, the people of Goa are suffering. Instead of taking up their issues the Opposition is doing nothing… with what face the Congress will go back to the people?”
He said the Congress has failed to rally behind the suffering people because of a few Congress leaders and also due to the lack of coordination between the party organisation and the CLP.
Kavlekar denied that Lourenco walked out of the meeting, claiming that the Curtorim MLA left only when all the discussions on the agenda ere over.
Thivim MLA Nilkanth Haldankar alleged that despite the repeated assurances from the Chief Minister and PWD Minister Ramakrishna ‘Sudin’ Dhavalikar developmental works have come to a halt.
He claimed that no development works have been taken in the constituencies of the Congress MLAs.
“You cannot keep the entire state paralysed just because one leader is unwell. The government curtailed the budget session of the assembly to four days, and for the monsoon session we were given only 12 days… just to suppress the voice of the Opposition,” he said.
He sought action against PWD officials for not finalising and expediting the developmental works.
“The situation forces us to take out a morcha on the government department so as to get our work done,” he said.