Herald: CM’s illness, biggest challenge before this government
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CM’s illness, biggest challenge before this government

14 Mar 2018 05:29am IST

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14 Mar 2018 05:29am IST

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Team Herald

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Coalition of political compromises remains stable as allies assure they will back only Parrikar; Opposition disappointed that no development has taken place

PANJIM: As the Manohar Parrikar-led tricky coalition completes 365 days in office on Wednesday, the government appears to be shaky due to the illness of the Chief Minister.

After smooth sailing for almost 11 months, the coalition fell into some turmoil as news of Parrikar’s sudden illness percolated, leading to much speculation in the last one month as the BJP stalwart was the only leader who holds the alliance together.

On March 14, 2017 Parrikar, along with nine other Ministers, took oath at Raj Bhavan amidst black flags and protests by people protesting the formation, as despite having 13 MLAs in hand, Parrikar who resigned as India’s Defence Defence Minister and cobbled together a coalition with former allies and election ‘opponent’ MGP and the hard core anti-BJP force (then) Goa Forward Party (GFP) led by MLA Vijai Sardesai and the Independents.

The coalition was shaped with the demand that Parrikar be back to head the Goa government, making this his fourth stint as Chief Minister of the State.

The alliance between the parties has often led to disputes between the smaller partners, with the BJP confined to play the role of a referee as it tries to strike balance.

It is unfortunate that Parrikar, who was the game changer for BJP, is not in the State to celebrate the first anniversary of the government.

“The government has functioned in a very stable manner in the last one year. There is no instability but its functioning has slowed down in the last few days due to the ill health of the Chief Minister. We are coping with the situation and confident that the Chief Minister will be back to take charge soon,” senior BJP Minister Francis D’Souza said.

Parrikar, who is currently undergoing treatment in USA, preferred to retain power, without appointing an officiating Chief Minister. At the same time, in an attempt to keep the alliance intact, a three Minister Cabinet Advisory Committee (CAC) comprising BJP, MGP and GFP ministers has been constituted to guide the State administration in his absence.

“The alliance government was a political compromise to further our agenda of Goen, Goenkar and Goenkarponn and development. We came across many challenges but they were not made in Goa but were legal in the form of liquor ban and now a mining ban,” GFP President and Minister Sardesai said.

“Also, the Chief Minister’s illness is the biggest challenge before this government. We all need to be together facing and recovering from this challenge. I appeal to my coalition partners and the people to stay united in this situation,” he added.

Claiming that there is no instability, Sardesai said there is no one at present in the government who wants to destabilise the government in the Chief Minister’s absence.

MGP, another coalition partner, though expressed unhappiness of the government’s failures on issues like casino policy, regional plan, etc, but assured to stand with the government as long as Parrikar is the Chief Minister. “We supported a Parrikar-led government and will continue to do so. The current situation is very grim but we are with the government,” MGP general secretary Lavoo Mamledar 

The opposition Congress listed endless failures of the government, but sounded more disappointed with no development works taking place. “Government’s one year is nothing beyond fake and false promises. It failed in almost every front and more so on the development front. Not just in opposition, but even the constituencies represented by ruling MLAs saw no development. This one year can be contributed as an attempt of Parrikar to please his new partners,” Leader of the Opposition Chandrakant Kavlekar said.
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