- Parrikar’s Health brought Goa to STANDSTILL in 2018
Parrikar’s Health brought Goa to STANDSTILL in 2018
The year gone by 2018 will be known for just one reason and that is for the uncertainty over the health of Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar, who is suffering from Stage IV pancreatic Cancer. From GMC to Mumbai’s Lilavati hospital to the Sloan Kettering Research Centre in United States and thereafter the All India Institute of Medical Studies, the CM has seen it all in one year. SURAJ NANDREKAR takes a look back on what all happened in the last one year…
It was February 14, the Valentine’s day when, Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar complained of stomach pain and was rushed to the Goa Medical College and Hospital (GMCH) and then flown to Lilavati Hospital in Mumbai the following day; the cause of stomach ache was then attributed to "food poisoning".
Soon after, he was admitted to the Mumbai hospital, the Chief Minister's Office maintained that Parrikar was suffering from "mild pancreatitis" and he was expected to be discharged shortly.
Parrikar returned to Goa on February 22 to deliver a truncated annual budget speech, but alarms bells sounded when he was again hospitalised on February 25 at the GMCH after officials claimed he suffered a bout of "dehydration" and "blood pressure".The chief minister was discharged on March 1 and was recuperating at home until he flew to the US on March 5.
For three months, CM was admitted at Sloan Kettering Research Centre in New York for treatment of Pancreatic Cancer.He did return on June 15 and was even present for the 12-day monsoon session of the assembly but was not at his usual best.He went to US again for a follow-up earlier August.
He was admitted to the Lilavati Hospital in Mumbai for a review health check-up on 23 August, a day after he returned from the US. However, soon after the Assembly, Manohar Parrikar again flew to the United States on August 29 and returned in a few days.But things did not improve much and the CM was admitted in AIIMS on September 15.
At AIIMS, also met the BJP core committee, Cabinet Colleagues, besides the alliance partners on October 12.A decision was expected on the distribution of portfolios and the possible new leader but to no avail.
Surprisingly, CM returned to Goa on a stretcher on October 14, sparking speculations over the criticality of his health.But the BJP and government continued to maintain that the health parameters of Goa Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar, are stable.
Mr Parrikar arrived in Goa by a special flight and headed straight to his private residence, near Panaji, where a government-operated ambulance and a medical crew were kept on a stand-by.
From February 14 to October 18, the BJP as well as the Chief Minister’s office kept Goans in the dark making them believe it was just a minor sickness.
So much so that the former Panjim legislator Siddharth Kuncoliencar made a laughable statement that CM was flown to US for “Stomach upset”.
But in October, Goa Health Minister Vishwajit Rane said Parrikar was suffering from pancreatic cancer and that he wanted to be with his family. "He has got pancreatic cancer, there is no hiding of this fact," Rane had told reporters.
Congress sparks controversy
The Congress party on October 29 sparked off a storm saying ailing Parrikar, who has not been seen in public since October 14, may be no more.Congress spokesperson Jitendra Deshprabhu said that the BJP-led coalition government in Goa should prove to the people that Parrikar was alive. He also accused the media of trying to play down the severity of Parrikar's ailment."Yes, we are taking that call. It is an extreme call that the honourable chief minister may not be there at all," Deshprabhu told the media.
Even as Congress alleged CM was no more, Parrikar called for series of meetings at his private residence in Dona Paula. He first chaired the Investment Promotion Board meeting on October 29, followed by Cabinet meeting on October 30 and thereafter a BJP core committee meeting on October 31.
The CMO was also quick to circulate a picture of CM chairing the meeting of IPB, which again kicked up a storm as many questioned the authenticity of the photographs.
Sources revealed that CM continued to clear the official work from his residence and on December 16, he shocked everyone when he inspected two projects of third Mandovi bridge and new 8-lane Zuari Bridge.