Manohar Parrikar makes public appearance after months, with tube in his nose inspects Goa bridges

[dropcap]G[/dropcap]oa chief minister Manohar Parrikar, has been known to be unwell for some time over a pancreatic condition. But on Sunday he inspected a half-constructed bridge on Mandovi river, and another bridge, over Zuari River, near Panjim in his first public appearance since he spent months at a hospital in Delhi.

The 63-year-old chief minister has been recuperating from a surgery at his private home in Goa since October 14, he had a tube in his nose and appeared to be walking with support.

A senior functionary of the CM’s office said Parrikar travelled around 6 km from Porvorim to Merces to inspect the bridge, the third over the Mandovi. The bridge, which is expected to be completed next year, will connect Panaji to the rest of north Goa.

As per the functionary, Parrikar got off his car at the site and discussed the progress of the work with officials of the Goa Infrastructure Development Corporation and contracting firm Larsen and Toubro. There were two doctors with him. Parrikar has been in and out of hospitals in Goa, Mumbai, New York and Delhi for nearly nine months.

The photo of the visibly ailing chief minister drew criticism from other leaders in the country, but officials said he wanted to visit the site as the bridge was his pet project.

Former Jammu and Kashmir chief minister Omar Abdullah tweeted: “He has a tube inserted through his nose into his digestive tract. How inhuman to force him to continue working & doing photo ops. Why can’t he be allowed to deal with his illness without all this pressure & tamasha?”

The Congress’ Priyanka Chaturvedi tweeted: “Is that a tube that is inserted in his nose? Can a party be so power hungry to make a man work despite his illness? With BJP impossible is nothing….to grab power, latch on to power. Take care CM Saab, because clearly, your party won’t.”

The opposition Congress has been alleging that Parrikar’s health condition and his absence from office had paralysed the coastal state’s administration. Even allies and some members of the ruling BJP have raised questions. A politician has approached the court asking for an evaluation of Parrikar’s condition.

(With inputs from PTI)