Goa BJP legislator Francis D’Souza expressed displeasure Monday over his removal from the Manohar Parrikar-led cabinet, wondering if this was the reward given to him by the party for his 20-year-long loyalty. Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar Monday dropped from his cabinet D’Souza and Pandurang Madkaikar, both ailing and currently admitted at hospitals. “This is the reward I am getting for my loyalty to the party for the last 20 years,” D’Souza, who is currently admitted at a hospital in the US, told PTI on phone.
The MLA, who got elected on the BJP ticket from Mapusa constituency in North Goa district for the past two decades, claimed he was not even taken into confidence before being dropped from the cabinet. “I had even spoken to the chief minister last evening but he did not give any hint… When I called him today after coming to know that I was being dropped, the chief minister said it was the party high command’s decision,” said the MLA, who was heading the urban development department.
Besides D’Souza, Parrikar also dropped power minister Madkaikar, who is admitted to a private hospital in Mumbai after he suffered a brain stroke in June. They would be replaced with BJP legislators Milind Naik and Nilesh Cabral. D’Souza claimed the party was trying to remove him from the cabinet for the past one year. “Finally, they did it,” he said.
“Today they have dropped me from cabinet. Tomorrow they will remove me from the party, if I am useless for them,” he said. D’Souza, one of the senior most ministers in the cabinet, was a contender for the chief minister’s post in 2014 when Parrikar was elevated as the defence minister in the central government. The legislator, however, had lost the chance to party colleague Laxmikant Parsekar, who then became the chief minister. Parrikar, 62, is undergoing treatment for a pancreatic ailment at the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) in New Delhi.