Frail-looking Parrikar thanks Goa for prayers, presents budget

Frail-looking Parrikar thanks Goa for prayers, presents budget

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Panaji: Goa Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar during the Budget Session of state assembly in Panaji on Feb 22, 2018. (Photo: IANS)
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Panaji, Feb 22 (IANS) In an emotional address, Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar, who made a dramatic appearance at the state assembly on Thursday to present the budget - hours after being discharged from a Mumbai hospital - thanked the people of Goa for praying for his health.The Chief Minister said that nothing is wrong with him and that he has just been asked to avoid "close contact".Dressed in a full-sleeved blue shirt and looking frailer than his usual bustling self, Parrikar, who was accompanied by his son Utpal, was greeted by top officials and ruling MLAs and ministers, even as opposition legislators looked at the buzzing assembly complex driveway where Parrikar's convoy had stopped to allow him to alight. In his brief speech before tabling the budget, Parrikar said: "I thank everyone who wished me for my speedy recovery through messages, letters and prayers at various temples, churches, mosques and in other ways. "I am overwhelmed by the overpouring of your love and affection. It fortifies my conviction that Goa and Goans are my extended family. It is your wishes and prayers which have helped me recover speedily and return to Goa. "For complete recovery, I have been advised by the doctors some precautions in the immediate short term. During this period, my interaction with the public will be limited. However, I will be discharging my regular duties and obligations as the Chief Minister of the state."Parrikar, who tabled a revenue surplus budget of Rs 144.65 crore, with a stress on labour, employment and information technology, did not read out the customary budget speech, informing that he could not write it on account of his health condition."My health status has prevented me from preparing a detailed budget speech, outlining the achievements, policies and new schemes of our government. However, by the end of FY 2017-18, I would be implementing in parts new schemes and measures for revenue generation, which involve rationalisation of creation of fees, taxes and duties so that they get implemented from beginning of next year," he said."This year will be the year of employment. My government has given stress on generating local employment by providing nearly Rs 548.89 crore for the sector of industries, labour, employment and information-technology," while presenting a Rs 17,123 crore budget for the upcoming fiscal. Parrikar was on February 15 admitted to Lilavati Hospital in Mumbai, after he complained of stomach pain. He was later diagnosed with pancreas-related ailment.But, his sudden decision to present the annual budget at the assembly complex came as a surprise to his Cabinet and legislature colleagues, as well as police officials at the assembly complex, who were in a tizzy finalising last-minute security arrangements."It is his will to come here... He arranged the flight himself, which his whole family did not know. Family was trying to bring him after the budget session. He must have used his good offices for the first time and came on a private flight...only to show the people of Goa that 'I am a fighter'," BJP MLA Nilesh Cabral said after meeting Parrikar.Before presenting the budget, Parrikar presided over a brief Cabinet meeting, where he thanked his ministers for their concern and promised to meet them again. Power Minister for Power Pandurang Madkaikar told IANS that the Chief Minster will address his next Cabinet meeting next week."We are happy to have him back. He has told us that the next cabinet meeting will be convened on coming Wednesday," he said.Opposition leader Chandrakant Kavlekar also expressed happiness, saying the assembly is glad to have Parrikar back in the hot seat. "We are glad to see him and we hope he recovers fully.Parrikar only waved to the cordoned-off media on his way out of the assembly complex. However, to a question from a reporter seeking to know his health status, he said: "Nothing is wrong with me. I have been asked not to maintain close contact."--IANSmaya/vd

(This story was auto-published from a syndicated feed. No part of the story has been edited by The Quint.)

(This story was auto-published from a syndicated feed. No part of the story has been edited by The Quint.)

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