Minister’s illness burdens CM Parrikar with more portfolios;
With some major departments in his kitty now, can he deliver?
PANJIM: Just when the Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar, who has returned after treatment for a critical illness, and the administration had started picking up pace, his Cabinet colleagues have taken ill increasing the workload on the CM who is recovering from his ailment.
Parrikar is now handling over 20 portfolios and his current illness had only ensured that his workload mounts every day.
Even before Parrikar could return from the US last month, Power Minister Pandurang Madkaikar was hospitalised for a brain stroke in a Mumbai hospital. With incessant rains worsening the power issues in Goa, the CM had to take control of the Power Department besides the Social Welfare Department in Madkaikar’s absence.
If this was not enough burden, in July came the news of PWD Minister Ramkrishna (Sudin) Dhavalikar being admitted in another Mumbai Hospital for a “serious” illness, which has still not been disclosed by the family. He is expected to be out of action for 45 days, which further increases the workload on the ailing Parrikar with the addition of PWD, Transport and River Navigation portfolios.
Stitching together an alliance with smaller parties, Parrikar had managed to form the government and distributed some important portfolios to coalition partners, but had retained some major and controversial ones.
To a query, the CM has already ruled out a reshuffle of portfolios or a Cabinet expansion until his return from US after a second round of treatment next month.
To further add to issues, there is no unanimity within the alliance partners, which means he cannot even share his workload with any senior ministers. Dhavalikar and Vijai Sardesai don’t seem to see eye-to-eye, while Govind Gaude and Dhavalikar have been sparring over personal issues.
In February, Dhavalikar had been given charge of the government in the absence of the Chief Minister, when he was admitted in Mumbai. However, sources said, that the move did not seem to have gone well with the alliance partners, and the Chief Minister returned to present the Budget in the Assembly.
An officer speaking on condition of anonymity, however, said that Parrikar has a knack for working hard and can take any amount of work pressure. While, this commitment to work is unquestionable, whether Parrikar can do justice to the portfolios is a question that remains to be answered.