Goa: BJP minister and CAC member D'Souza leaves abroad, Cong

Goa BJP leader Francis D'Souza, a senior member of the Cabinet Advisory Committee (CAC) set up by Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar before he left for the US for treatment in March, today proceeded on a month-long vacation to Portugal, drawing ire of opposition Congress.

Goa Pradesh Congress Committee (GPCC) president Girish Chodankar said the absence of D'Souza, who is the second in command of the BJP in Goa after Parrikar, would "further exacerbate the crisis of governance in the state".

The Congress leader has called for Governor Mridula Sinha's intervention in the "current state of affairs".

However, the BJP has termed it a "non-issue".

Chodankar alleged that D'Souza, who heads Urban Development ministry, has handed over the responsibility of his portfolio to Parrikar "who already holds maximum number of departments including Finance, Home, and Education".

"D'Souza has left for Portugal on a month-long vacation even though the state is reeling under uncertainty on mining front and frequent interruption in power supply," he said.

Parrikar has been undergoing treatment for a pancreatic ailment in the US since March this year.

Chodankar recalled that that the party had last month staked claim to form a government in Goa where it had emerged as the single largest party in the Assembly polls held in 2017.

"The Congress already said they can garner necessary supportwithin seven daysof our party leader taking oath as chief minister," he said.

Seeking adoption of the Karnataka example in Goa, the Congress on May 18 staked claim to form a government and submitted to governor a formal letter containing signatures of all the 16 party MLAs.

In the Assembly elections held in March last year, the Congress had bagged 17 seats in the 40-member House, falling short of the majority figure by four seats.

The BJP, which got 14 seats, formed the government in alliance with Goa Forward Party and Maharashtravadi Gomantak Party, both of which had secured three seats each.

Three Independents also went with the BJP.

On Parrikar's condition, Chodankar said nobody knows the exact time of the chief minister's return to his home state.

"There is no clear timeline about Parrikar's return. He has been issuing statements through video messages and phone calls to the journalists," he said.

The Congress leader said there is no senior leader to represent the BJP in the CAC in absence of D'Souza.

"Governor Mridula Sinha who is a matured personality should be sensitive to the current state of affairs and emerge as a Saviour for Goa by acting in accordance with Constitution," he said.

When contacted, state BJP unit president Vinay Tendulkar said that Congress was raising a "non-issue".

"Governance in the state is smooth with Parrikar personally monitoring the administration," he said.

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

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