Goa Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar on Tuesday arrived at the state secretariat for the first time in four months after he was admitted to AIIMS last September. Parrikar was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer and has been receiving treatment since February last year.
The chief minister got down from his car at the main gate of the secretariat at around 10:45 AM, smiled at people, and walked inside, sources said. Hundreds of BJP workers who had gathered outside the complex cheered when Parrikar arrived. He was formally welcomed by BJP MLAs, including Legislative Assembly Speaker Pramod Sawant, ministers Mauvin Godinho, Milind Naik, Nilesh Cabral and former MLA Kiran Kandolkar.
Sources from the Chief Minister’s Office (CMO) told PTI that Parrikar held a meeting with officials of the Personnel department to review existing vacancies and other issues like promotions and transfers that needed urgent attention. He also met staff of his office, they said.
On December 16, the ailing Chief Minister had made a surprise visit to inspect two projects – one in Panaji, and the other at the new Zuari bridge in south Goa. This came in the backdrop of the High Court of Bombay at Goa reserving its verdict on a petition seeking the health status of Parrikar. These were his first public appearances since October 14, when he returned from Delhi’s All India Institute of Medical Sciences.
A statement by the Chief Minister’s Office read, “Manohar Parrikar visited the construction site on the third Mandovi bridge and inspected the progress of work… CM later also inspected the ongoing works of the new Zuari bridge.” The two projects also happen to be a BJP poll promise and the party’s flagship projects in Goa.
On December 1, Parrikar had met the state government officers at his residence and had directed them to speed up the pending works. He had last attended the office in August 2018, before he was shifted to Mumbai for treatment.
Meanwhile, dismissing a petition seeking medical examination of Parrikar’s ailing health, the Panaji Bench of the Bombay High Court had on December 20 reaffirmed that Parrikar has an individual right to privacy as an Indian citizen, stating any such public report will be “outrageous overstepping in the territory of privacy” and “impermissible in law”.
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