GFP leader and Goa minister Vijai Sardesai Wednesday attacked the Congress for "targetting" Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar over his health, days after the opposition party asked the ailing BJP leader to unfurl the national flag at the state Liberation Day function Wednesday.
Sardesai's Goa Forward Party (GFP) is one of the constituents of the BJP-led coalition government in the coastal state.
We have to liberate ourselves from negativity. There is also a political negativity", the Town and Country Planning Minister said while addressing a state Liberation Day event in Margao town in south Goa.
Sardesai's remarks came within days of Goa Congress chief Girish Chodankar demanding that Parrikar unfurl the national flag at an official function here to mark the State Liberation Day on December 19. Meanwhile, at the function held this morning, Legislative Assembly Speaker Pramod Sawant unfurled the Tricolour.
Sardesai said, "the main opposition party has sidelined all other issues and is targeting the CM over his health.
They are hounding him. This is undoing of Goemkars (Goans)", he said without taking the name of Congress.
"When one leader is sick, one should not hound him and chase him by challenging him to hoist the flag for liberation day or visit the bridges", said Sardesai. In a rare public appearance in the last few months, Parrikar recently visited two bridges that are being constructed on Mandovi and Zuari rivers.
The Congress has been demanding replacement of the ailing chief minister citing his extended absence from office, which the opposition party says has resulted into "collapse of the administration".
"The opposition party is only trying to play politics on (CM's health). I don't think any Goan will feel good about it. We always sympathise with the one who is sick", he said.
The minister said the Goa government has been developing the state at a pace that is "historic". "While the government is delivering for the people, it also harbours certain expectations from the citizens.
The citizens should be alert but not cynical", he said. Taking potshots at the Congress, he said, "Some people are trying to convince you (people) that ongoing development is (aimed) to finish the state. This negativity should be avoided.
We should have a positive mindset", Sardesai added. Parrikar, 63, has been recuperating at his private residence near Panaji since October 14, after he was discharged from Delhi's All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS).
A Public Interest Litigation (PIL) seeking health status of Parrikar is currently pending before the Goa bench of the Bombay High Court. The government opposed the PIL citing the fundamental right to privacy of the CM.
(With inputs from agencies.)