Goa Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar today became emotional as he addressed BJP workers for the first time since his return from the US last month where he had gone for medical treatment. Parrikar, 62, had stayed in the US for three months where he was treated for a pancreatic ailment.
“When I got up initially to address you all, I was in tears. I have not met the party workers for the last four months. But I expect, that I would be able to visit at least some villages and meet the workers after the monsoon,” Parrikar said with his voice choking and tears filling his eyes. Parrikar was given a standing ovation by the 2000-strong audience when he arrived at the venue—a hall located in his Panaji assembly constituency.
The senior BJP leader said he was taking utmost care not to contract any kind of infection. “I have been given a separate seat on the dais because a stainless steel seat can be wiped. Even this mike can be wiped. My colleagues and all of you have decided to take care of me so that I don’t contract any infection,” the CM said.
Parrikar said he could return to Goa because of the prayers and good wishes of the people. “I think your prayers reached top (to God) and they were heard. Slowly, I have started concentrating on the work,” he said. Referring to the current controversy on formalin-laced fish, the former Defence minister said in a lighter vein that he came to Goa from Delhi for fish only. “….No one needs to worry. I will not allow Goans to eat polluted fish,” he said.
A controversy had erupted after a “spot analysis” of the Goa Food and Drug Administration (FDA) had shown the presence of the organic compound in fish imported from other states. However, the agency later said the formalin found in the sampled fish was “on par” with its “naturally occurring” levels and that there was no “added amount” of it. Parrikar had yesterday tweeted that he was personally monitoring the issue.