Panaji, Nov 17 (IANS) Goa Revenue Minister Rohan Khaunte on Saturday joined the chorus of the Opposition and other cabinet colleagues, claiming that the state administration had come to a standstill in the absence of ailing Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar.
He also alleged that a lobby of bureaucrats and individuals were surreptitiously carving up government benefits in the absence of Parrikar.
Khaunte said that the biggest hurdle in administration was the finance ministry, which is headed by Parrikar, where he said no government file has been moving for several months.
“I am very concerned when it comes to IT (Information Technology ministry), Revenue (ministry). A lot of people in the bureaucracy or in the governance side, who are not seen by the people, are taking certain things for their own benefit, their own interest or for what interest I do not know, but (it is) not in the interest of Goans,” Khaunte told reporters on Saturday.
The independent legislator, who holds the Revenue and IT portfolios, is not the first ruling politician to claim that the administration under the BJP-led coalition government had been affected due to the prolonged absence of Parrikar, who is suffering from advanced pancreatic cancer and undergoing treatment for nearly nine months now.
Town and Country Planning Minister Vijai Sardesai, Public Works Department Minister Sudin Dhavalikar, BJP MLA Michael Lobo, Maharashtrawadi Gomantak Party President Deepak Dhavalikar have in the recent past said that the administration had suffered from Parrikar’s absence.
The Congress has also repeatedly demanded Parrikar’s resignation in view of his prolonged illness.
The Congress too has in the past alleged that a cartel of bureaucrats and politically-appointed officers on special duty were calling the shots in the administration and were running the affairs of Goa.
Khaunte also said that the main obstacle for smooth governance was the finance ministry, which Parrikar holds.
“All files are rotating in different departments for the last four to five months, specially finance department, which is very frustrating for any minister to work with. As elected representatives, we become responsible for the people of Goa, as ministers to the people of Goa, as MLA to the people of my constituency,” Khaunte said.
“But, the bureaucracy is something which is not seen by the people. But I feel the administration has come to a standstill. I feel that there is nothing moving from the finance side of it,” he alleged.