PANAJI: Upset over the manner in which the Panchayat portfolio was taken away from him by the Chief Minister Laxmikant Parsekar so as to allot it to the newly-inducted minister Rajendra Arlekar, Minister for Art and Culture Dayanand Mandrekar said that he had taken a decision to resign as minister but changed it on the request of some senior party leaders.
“I am not upset that I have been stripped of the Panchayat portfolio, but the way it was done. It’s humiliating. Instead, the Chief Minister could have removed me from the cabinet, I am ready to work as MLA,” Mandrekar told this daily and alleged that it is an act of hegemony.
Furthermore, Mandrekar said that neither the chief minister nor Bharatiya Janata Party’s president consulted him before taking away his portfolio and pointed out that this act of the chief minister shows that he does not trust his ministers. “I could understand to some extent that Parsekar had taken my portfolio and the portfolio of Alina Saldhana to allot them to new minister Arlekar, but why he has taken Information and Publicity portfolio from the Power Minister Milind Naik,” asked furious Mandrekar, adding that he did not like the attitude of the chief minister and party president in this whole episode. Mandrekar also said that he will not come to the office until the episode gets over.
Meanwhile, newly-inducted minister Rajendra Arlekar will take charge of his office on Tuesday. Without speaking on portfolios, which he has been allotted by the chief minister, Arlekar said, “As a minister, I have to start working immediately and I decided to take charge of office on Tuesday”.