Panaji: The BJP in Goa Wednesday said Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar, whose extended absence from office due to ill health has sparked demands of temporary replacement, is likely to resume duty next month.
The state unit Bhartiya Janata Party (BJP) president Vinay Tendulkar, however, conceded the pace of administration in the coastal state has "slowed down" in absence of the chief minister.
Earlier in the day, Maharashtrawadi Gomantak Party (MGP) president Dipak Dhavlikar demanded that Parrikar hand over his charge to "any of the senior ministers" till he recovered from illness. He also said the people of Goa were complaining about the "collapse" of administration in absence of Parrikar.
The MGP is one of the two regional constituents of the Manohar Parrikar-led coalition government--the other being the Goa Forward Party (GFP).
Notably, GFP chief and Cabinet minister Vijai Sardesai had last week said that the CM's ailment was affecting his work and that of the state administration.
According to BJP, Parrikar, 62, is currently recuperating at his private residence at Dona Paula near Panaji since he was shifted there from the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) in Delhi.
"Parrikar is recovering well and we expect him to resume office in the next month, that is November," Tendulkar told reporters.
BJP president Amit Shah had earlier clarified that Parrikar would continue to helm the coalition government.
Tendulkar also informed that no discussion was being held at the state level about the change of guard.
"We don't have the right to discuss issues like the leadership change. Senior leaders of the party in Delhi will take a call on it," said the BJP leader.
When asked about Dhavalikar's statement, Tendulkar said, "the administration has become slow due to Parrikar's absence from office".
He also said BJP would speak to MGP to enlist their support in the Lok Sabha elections due next year.
The Parrikar-led government has the support of 23 MLAs in the Assembly -- 14 of the BJP, three each from the GFP and the MGP and three Independent legislators.
The Congress had emerged as the single-largest party in the fractured verdict thrown up after the Assembly elections held in March last year.
However, it had failed to form the government as it could not muster the majority. Since then, the Congress is repeatedly claiming to form the government in the coastal state, arguing that it is the single-largest party.
The Congress now ceases to be the single-largest party after two MLAs of its 16 MLAs resigned and joined the BJP.