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Manohar Parrikar likely to reallocate his portfolios by Dussehra

Manohar Parrikar likely to reallocate his portfolios by Dussehra

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09 Oct 2018 No comment 13 hits

PANAJI: Amid the rumblings in the BJP rank and file and coalition partners over non-functioning of the government due to chief minister Manohar Parrikar’s illness, a damage control exercise that started with a minor cabinet reshuffle would move into the next step by reallocating portfolios held by the chief minister.
Parrikar, who is undergoing treatment for a pancreatic ailment at AIIMS in Delhi, is likely to start consultations with coalition partners on October 12 and 13 for the redistribution of his portfolios and giving his cabinet colleagues additional charges.

“The entire exercise would be complete by Dussehra (October 19), and the chief minister will distribute the portfolios,” a top BJP functionary said.

A senior BJP functionary said Parrikar, who currently holds around 30 portfolios, may divest most of them but is likely to retain the key ministries of home and finance.

On October 2, REPORTERS had reported that Parrikar would hold talks with coalition partners for redistribution of portfolios after the “inauspicious Pitru Paksh period” ends on October 9, but would retain key ministries.

“I have been called to Delhi by the chief minister on October 12, but I am not aware whether it is with regard to portfolio reallocation,” PWD minister and MGP leader Ramkrishna Dhavalikar told REPORTERS.

The other ally in the government, Goa Forward Party, has also been informed of a meeting with Parrikar. “The chief minister has asked us to keep ourselves free on October 12 and 13 to meet him at AIIMS,” town and country planning minister and GFP president Vijai Sardesai said.

Sources also said that two independent MLAs—Rohan Khaunte and Govind Gaude, who are ministers in the Parrikar cabinet—have also been called for consultations.

On September 24, a day before the ‘Pitru Paksh period’ began, Parrikar made a minor reshuffle of his cabinet by dropping two ailing minister Francis D’Souza and Pandurang Madkaikar and inducted Nilesh Cabral and Milind Naik.

Currently, three ministers—Sardesai, Dhavalikar and Cabral—hold four portfolios each, while the rest hold three each.

BJP sources said that Parrikar, who has been ailing for the past seven months, may divest himself of the education, forest, mines, industries, science and technology portfolios, among others.

The minor reshuffle and portfolio redistribution comes amid demands by the opposition, Congress, to the governor to dissolve the House and invite them to form the government. In the 40-member House, Congress is the single largest party with 16 seats. BJP has 14 members, with its coalition partners MGP and GFP having three each, with three independents supporting the government.

In September, a three-member BJP central team led by its national organising secretary Ram Lal held two-day consultations with allies, BJP MPs, ministers, MLAs and the state unit of the party’s core committee members exploring options for a change in leadership but failed to arrive at a consensus.

Parrikar was airlifted to AIIMS on September 15 and has been undergoing treatment in Delhi since then.

On September 23, party president Amit Shah put to rest all speculations about a leadership change and said Parrikar would continue as the chief minister but would carry out a minor reshuffle of his ministry and redistribute portfolios.

“Let the chief minister give us a proposal on the portfolios he plans to allocate, then we (Goa Forward Party) will carefully examine it and decide,” Sardesai had said.

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Source: Manohar Parrikar likely to reallocate his portfolios by Dussehra

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