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BJP allies ‘annoyed’ as there is no sign of distribution of additional portfolios

Panaji: As the Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar has begun holding meetings with ministers, officials and party leaders despite his ill health, the issue of change in leadership of the coalition government seems to have been ‘put on hold’.

However, the delay in the distribution of the additional portfolios seems to be driving the alliance partners towards frustration.

After the opposition Congress party launched an attack on the government by raising certain doubts, the much-needed movement was seen at Parrikar’s private residence at Taleigao since last Tuesday.

The Chief Minister chaired the meeting of Goa Investment Promotion and Facilitation Board on October 30, which was followed by the cabinet meeting on October 31.

On Thursday, Parrikar held a discussion on political situation with five members of BJP’s core committee at his residence.

According to sources, though Parrikar cannot move from one place to another in his house as he has become physically weak due to prolonged illness, he can interact.

It is learnt that the ministers, especially, those from the allies have decided not to pursue the issue of leadership change as Parrikar has got into action, though in a restricted way at his residence.

Even though the Chief Minister had assured that he would distribute the additional portfolios to the ministers by Dussehra or soon after that, the same has not yet been fulfilled, and this seems to have created uneasiness among the alliance partners.

According to the sources, the Chief Minister did not utter a word on the distribution of additional portfolios during the cabinet meeting.

Speaking to ‘The Navhind Times’ a couple of ministers, on the condition of anonymity, expressed annoyance as there has been no move to fulfil the assurance of the distribution of additional portfolios, however, added that it is the prerogative of the Chief Minister, and now they would not pursue the same.

While speaking to the media soon after the cabinet meeting, Agriculture Minister Vijai Sardesai said that the issue of the distribution of additional portfolios was not discussed during the meeting.

It may be recalled that soon after Ganesh Chaturthi when Parrikar was flown to Delhi for treatment at the All India Institute of Medical Sciences the assurance to distribute the additional portfolios was made.

Later, the Chief Minister reassured the ministers, who met him at the AIIMS on October 12, that the additional portfolios would be distributed by Dusherra or soon after that. However, there has been no movement on the allocation of the portfolios to the ministers even after the Chief Minister came down to Goa on October 14 from the AIIMS.

It is pertinent to note that the outburst of MGP president Pandurang ‘Dipak’ Dhavalikar against the BJP for not letting a senior minister from the cabinet to hold the charge when Parrikar is recuperating is also an indication that patience is running out for this ally of the ruling party.

Even as the talks were doing rounds in the political circles during first fortnight of October over the additional portfolios, now neither the Chief Minister nor the BJP leaders are commenting on the same. [NT]

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