Goa Chief Minister Pramod Sawant on Saturday slammed Congress Lok Sabha MP Francisco Sardinha for criticising former Defence Minister late Manohar Parrikar during an election rally on Friday.
“To speak about Parrikar like this after his demise is condemnable. The whole of Goa is affected by Sardinha’s comments. No political leader should talk about a person who is no longer alive like this. If you want to criticise, criticise us, criticise our central or state leaders,” Sawant told a press conference on Saturday.
During an election rally in South Goa, Sardinha had said: “He (Parrikar) became a Chief Minister through deceit. There is a phrase in Konkani, ‘at least let me die in peace’. As we age, we fall ill, but he was roaming around with pipes in his mouth, nose. God did not let him die in peace.”
Interestingly, Sardinha became the Chief Minister in 1999 with the support of 10 BJP MLAs, a contingent which was led by Parrikar. Months after propping up Sardinha, Parrikar had assumed power by suddenly withdrawing support to Sardinha’s government.
Parrikar went on to become the Chief Minister on three more occasions and also served as the country’s Defence Minister. He died in office as the Chief Minister of Goa in 2019.
Sawant said that Sardinha’s comment was borne out of political frustration.
“They know that the Congress is coming back to single digits. They are venting their frustration with such statements,” Sawant said.