A Goa minister on Thursday said that ailing Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar wanted to resign, but the BJP high command did not let him do so, news agency PTI reported.
"He wanted to give up the CM's post altogether. He had even shown inclination to give away his portfolios (to other ministers) when he was admitted to a hospital during Ganesh Chaturthi festival," Goa Forward Party chief and Agriculture Minister Vijai Sardesai
"But then several things happened. BJP high command stepped in....it (to resign or not) is not in his (Parrikar's) hands entirely," Sardesai told reporters.
Parrikar, suffering from a pancreatic ailment, has been recuperating at his residence since he was discharged from the All India Institute of Medical Sciences in Delhi on October 14.
"I have always been saying that CM's ill-health has had some sort of impact, and it is showing," Sardesai said on being asked about independent MLA and Revenue Minister Rohan Khaunte's remark that the administration has become sluggish in Parrikar's absence.
To a question on another alliance partner Maharashtrawadi Gomantak Party (MGP) filing a petition against two former Congress MLAs who joined the BJP, the minister said it was surprising.
MGP has moved the Goa Bench of Bombay High Court, seeking to disqualify Subhash Shirodkar and Dayanand Sopte, former Congress MLAs who recently joined the BJP.
"It is a matter between two constituents of the alliance -- BJP and MGP. So we are not concerned with it," Sardesai said.
"As far as MGP is concerned, its decision to go to the court is surprising....I can believe it is a preemptive move, they (MGP) have not lost anything, Congress has lost two MLAs," Sardesai said in a cryptic remark.
Speculation was rife earlier that MGP MLAs might join the BJP which does not have a majority on its own in Goa Assembly.
BJP spokespersons were not available for comment on Sardesai's remarks.
(With PTI inputs)