For the second time in a year, the Goa cabinet witnessed a no-holds barred abuse fest, with ministers having a go at their cabinet colleagues over difference of opinion.
While a verbal slug-fest between then PWD Minister Sudin Dhavalikar and Art and Culture Minister Govind Gaude almost threatened to go physical when the ailing Manohar Parrikar was at the helm of affairs in July 2019, this time around, on Wednesday (January 8), Health Minister Vishwajit Rane and Transport Minister Mauvin Godinho hurled abuse at one another during a cabinet meeting chaired by Chief Minister Pramod Sawant at the state Secretariat.
The tussle between the two Ministers — both of whom are former Congressmen and late inductees into the Bharatiya Janata Party — over differences over cabinet-related decisions, has handed the opportunity to the Opposition to accuse Sawant of losing his administrative grip.
“It shows, number one, that there is no harmony among ministers. If there is some problem, CM can meet ministers individually and sort it out,” Leader of Opposition Digambar Kamat said.
Kamat himself has led a rickety Congress-led coalition government from 2007-2012, leading a bunch of bickering aides.
“For five years I gave a stable government. My cabinet had stalwarts, former CMs, former Home Ministers. I was running a coalition government. Some were not seeing eye to eye. But not a single day, did anyone have the nerve to fight or raise their voices during my cabinet meetings,” Kamat also said.
State Congress chief Girish Chodankar also said that Sawant neither has control over the state administration nor over his cabinet ministers.
“What kind of a cabinet is this? What kind of role models are these for the people of Goa. They are not fighting for Goa, but for their own gains. CM has no control over state and administration,” Chodankar told IANS.
When contacted Transport Minister Mauvin Godinho did not deny the exchange of words with Rane, but added that “a mountain was being made out of a molehill”. Rane could not be contacted for comment.
Sawant preferred not to comment on the issue.
At a function organised to mark Legislators Day on Thursday, the Chief Minister made a reference to the need for maintaining the dignity of forums like the state legislature and the cabinet.
“Whether it is the legislature or cabinet, they occupy the highest position in democracy. It is important to its retain its honour,” Sawant said.
Panaji, Jan 10 (IANS)