Congress MLAs on Tuesday staged a walkout on the first day of the Goa budget session. They were protesting Governor Mridula Sinha’s inaction over a host of petitions sent by the Opposition, demanding to sack the BJP-led coalition government on account of Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar’s health.
Leader of Opposition in the Assembly Chandrakant Kavlekar said it the decision was taken specifically against Governor Sinha “in protest against her lack of initiative to act, vis-à-vis a host of petitions sent to her by the Opposition, demanding sacking of the BJP-led coalition government in view of Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar’s ill-health.
Kavlekar added that the Opposition is also seeking a longer session to discuss issues like mining and CRZ. “We boycotted her speech even though we did not want to. Last year there were only 16 days of Assembly session. This year there should be more. What will we speak for two days? Who will raise the issues of the people? We wanted a longer session and we had requested the Governor, but there was no direction from her,” he added.
Congress MLA Luizinho Faleiro, during a press meet later, called the Governor “an agent of BJP” who did not act according to “Constitutional responsibilities expected of the Governor”.
Faleiro said, “When we were the single largest elected party, the Governor should have invited us. A Governor cannot act as an agent of BJP party. This government is illegal and immoral.peech is nothing new and everything is known. Instead of sitting in this temple of democracy and listening to her, it’s better to sit at Azad Maidan and conduct a mock assembly and listen to the people’s grievances.”
Meanwhile, minutes after the House was adjourned, Parrikar was wheeled to his office to find Congress president Rahul Gandhi. Gandhi has been in the state since Saturday along with his mother and UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi on a personal visit.
The meeting with the Chief Minister comes a day after Gandhi took to Twitter about inaction on the Rafale tapes — referring to an unverified audio recording that claims Parrikar is in possession of ‘explosive files’ related to the Rafale deal.
The audio recording is purportedly between Health minister Vishwajit Rane and a journalist where Rane is heard telling the latter that Parrikar had informed the cabinet that he has files related to the Rafale deal at his residence.
”I am running late,” the Congress president told reporters when asked about his visit to the state legislative assembly, He left in a private vehicle of Hotel Leela’s where he is currently staying.
According to the Goa Police, Gandhi’s visit to see Parrikar was a “last decision halt”.
According to Kavlekar, this was a courtesy visit and Gandhi made enquiries on the Chief Minister’s health.
Gandhi also had a brief interaction with the Congress MLAs who staged a walkout at the lobby of the complex. While nothing official was discussed, Gandhi promised them he will return to take stock of the party in February.