The Congress today accused Goa Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar of abdicating his duty and responsibility as Defence Minister as it latched on to his remark that pressure of key issues like Kashmir was one of the reasons he opted to quit and return to the coastal state.
“Truth is now out. Abdication of duty and responsibility by Defence Minister Parrikar made him go to head the cosy confines of a defector’s government in Goa,” Congress chief spokesperson Randeep Surjewala tweeted. Congress leader Digvijaya Singh also hit out at Parrikar, saying the former Defence Minister has made an honest confession and asked if there was any “unfinished agenda” he had in the coastal state.
“Honest confession. Was it Kashmir pressure or unfinished Business deals in Goa which made Parrikar rob People’s mandate in Goa and return?,” tweeted Singh, who had failed to cobble a Congress government in Goa despite his party getting more seats than the BJP.
Singh is the Congress party’s general secretary incharge of Goa and was entrusted the responsibility of forming the Congress government there after results on March 11 in which the party won 17 of the 40 assembly seats in the state.
The Congress party on its official Twitter handle also took a swipe at Parrikar wondering if he would quit Goa too when in need. “Tomorrow, if Goa needs him in a crisis, what is the guarantee he will not quit from there too? #CowardsMindset,” the AICC tweeted.
In a candid admission, Goa Chief Minister Parrikar yesterday said the pressure of some key issues, like Kashmir, was one of the reasons why he opted to quit as the Defence Minister and return to the coastal state.
“The pressure of the issues like Kashmir while working as defence minister in Delhi was one of the reasons why I chose to come back to Goa,” Parrikar told a gathering in Panaji on the occasion of the 126th birth anniversary of Dr B R Ambedkar. “I chose to come back to Goa when I got an opportunity to do so. When you are in the Centre, you have to tackle issues like Kashmir and others,” he said.
“Delhi is not my area of operations (and) that is why I used to feel under pressure,” Parrikar had added. However, the office of Goa Chief Minister today sought to clarify Parrikar’s remarks, saying his return to Goa after quitting as Defence Minister was in no way linked to the pressure of some key issues like Kashmir.
“The speech in local language of chief minister (Parrikar) regarding Kashmir issue was in no way connected to his becoming chief minister of Goa which was under the necessity of situation due to coalition partner’s demand,” the chief minister’s office (CMO) said in a statement.