Goa Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar will convene a cabinet meeting this Wednesday, assuaging near-constant fearmongering over his health. It will be his first since his health scare in August and Republic World has accessed exclusive details of what’s on the plate.
The cabinet meeting, Parrikar's first in two months, will be held at his official residence at Dona Paula on Wednesday evening. Parrikar has been specific in detailing his agenda for the meeting, with the official memorandum that has been accessed by Republic World listing seven clear items and mapping each to the concerned ministry.
AGENDA ITEM 1: Grant of exemption of registration fees of Rs 3,61,478/- in respect of Deed of Gift to Diocesan Society of Education (DSE)
WHAT THIS MEANS
Parrikar is perhaps the only tall leader in BJP who enjoys the support of the Church and has a personal appeal among the politically significant Catholic community in Goa. Seven out of the his 14 BJP MLAs in the state assembly, are Catholics. The item on Wednesday’s agenda will aid the minority institution and is sure to please the community.
AGENDA ITEM 4: Proposal for revision of selling prices of APL foodgrains and to increase profit margin to Fair Price Shops and to fix rent of POS Devices to the FPS
WHAT THIS MEANS
Fair price shops in Goa have opposed the installation of Point of Sale (PoS) devices claiming that it may cause a hit to their profits. An attempt to correct any imbalance may make the transformation more palatable to the Fair Price Shops and could potentially enable the entire ecosystem to benefit from digitisation.
AGENDA ITEM 7: Amendment to the Scheme "Financial incentives to mothers who deliver a Girl Child (MAMTA) Scheme"
WHAT THIS MEANS
Shortly after the 2017 Goa elections, Parrikar had claimed that 60% of the women electorate in Goa had voted for the BJP. By accentuating a pro-women, pro-girls scheme, Parrikar would be letting women know that their faith wasn't misplaced.
Parrikar's return to action comes at a time when politics and speculation over his health have become a daily feature. Top sources have told Republic World that the 62-year-old IITian and former Defence Minister of India is stable, responding to questions, and is able to walk.
Parrikar has spent a significant part of 2018 undergoing treatment for a pancreatic ailment. He was in the US for over two months but got back to work immediately after his return. Earlier this month he was discharged from AIIMS, New Delhi after a month-long treatment.
His political detractors in his state have been constantly harping about his health over the last few months with the Goa Congress adamantly politicising Parrikar's condition. Matters reached a head in the first week of September when the state Congress chief Girish Chodankar demanded that Parrikar disclose the nature of his ailment. Not stopping there, the Congress proceeded to demand the imposition of President's rule in the state.
The Congress' ultimate demand, however, is for the Goa Governor to invite it to form a government in the state, which arises from the fact that the Congress had emerged the single largest party in the 2017 Goa elections with 17 seats to the BJP's 13 in the 40-seat assembly. However, acting first, the BJP had been able to stitch together an alliance with other parties and independents, with the condition being that Manohar Parrikar be the Chief Minister.