PANJIM: Panjim MLA Atanasio (Babush) Monserrate on Monday slammed ministers for their non-performance and demanded that Chief Minister Dr Pramod Sawant reshuffle their portfolios in the interest of the people.
Monserrate said half of the cabinet ministers were not functioning and called them ‘useless’. These ministers are mostly concerned about their own constituencies and not bothered about the welfare of the State, he said. “These Ministers are only for their constituencies,” he charged.
Expressing his displeasure at the functioning of the Health Department, Monserrate said that last year the coronavirus infection was controlled systematically by officers like then Secretary (Health) Nila Mohanan and North Goa collector R Menaka but after the second wave everything is in a mess.
“We are not prepared to handle the second wave of COVID-19 virus effectively and the Chief Minister Dr Pramod Sawant is seen running from pillar to post to put things in order,” Monserrate said.
Monserrate said that doctors, nurses and medical staff are working hard to save patients lives. GMC Dean Dr Shivanand Bandekar is also holding three posts, he said, adding that he had requested the Chief Minister to relieve Bandekar from some of these posts during the current pandemic.
“I am upset at the government functioning, especially at the new app created for MLAs to know the availability of beds in COVID care centres. I and Santa Cruz MLA Tony Fernandes met the Chief Minister and told him to get the act together. I see only the Chief Minister is functioning and he is blamed for everything,” Monserrate said.
According to Monserrate, 18 MLAs of the ruling dispensation are carrying the burden of 12 ministers. Most of the ministers are not performing and take pleasure in interfering in other MLAs’ constituencies, he charged.
“Don’t take people of Goa for granted after winning zilla panchayat (ZP) and municipal elections. You need to perform if you want to win Assembly polls which are approaching fast,” he said.
Monserrate said that when he was the Education Minister, he gave a free hand to the head of department and as a Minister he gave them what was required from the government.
“I was Education Minister, not qualified. But people say that I was the best minister and performed well. This was because I used to leave it to the head of department and my duty was to provide them what was required from the government,” he said.
“Chief Minister listened to us. Now he has to act. I will meet him again after a fortnight and I will keep on knocking the (CM’s) door,” he said.