Blood donation camp to be held in Goa on Parrikar's birthday

Panaji, Dec 12 (IANS): The absence of ailing Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar who turns 63 on Thursday, will be felt during his birthday celebrations being held in the state capital, which includes a blood donation camp at the state BJP headquarters, former Panaji MLA and former Defence Minister's aide Sidharth Kuncalienkar said on Wednesday.

"His absence will definitely be felt. But we are going to do everything which we otherwise used to do on his birthday like organising a blood donation camp," Kuncalienkar told reporters here.

The former Panaji MLA, who resigned from legislatorship in 2017 to facilitate the election of Parrikar, then a Defence Minister, as an MLA, has also appealed to the Chief Minister's followers to attend the birthday celebration on Thursday in large numbers.

"Let's celebrate Manohar bhai's birthday tomorrow, December 13, with prayers to Devi Mahalaxmi for his well being at 9 a.m followed by (a) blood donation camp at BJP head office from 9.30 a.m to 12 noon. Join in large numbers at Mahalaxmi temple at 9 a.m followed by donating blood for a worthy cause," Kuncalienkar sent a message to Parrikar's followers on Wednesday.

Parrikar is suffering from advanced pancreatic cancer and has been in and out of hospitals in Goa, Mumbai, New York and Delhi for nearly nine months.

He returned from New Delhi's All India Institute of Medical Sciences on October 14 and has not moved out of his private residence for any official event since.

The opposition, as well ruling coalition allies have been demanding the resignation of the Chief Minister, claiming that the administration has come to a standstill due to Parrikar's absence.

Parrikar has been MLA of Panaji since 1994. In 2014, he vacated the seat after he was elevated as Defence Minister. He won the seat again after he returned to state politics in 2017.