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Manohar Parrikar to return to India, BJP denies official memo

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Goa Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar, who is currently undergoing treatment for advanced pancreatic cancer in the US, scheduled to return here by June 18. An official memo claimed so on Monday even as the ruling BJP denied it. An office memorandum issued by the state Home Department, which comes under Parrikar, mentioned his presence at the Revolution Day event to be organised by the Goa government here on June 18, creating a stir and triggering speculation of the ailing Chief Minister’s possible arrival in the state after a gap of more than three months.

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The memorandum, which lists out the schedule for the event, states that at 8.50 a.m. on June 18, Parrikar is expected to arrive at the Martyr’s Memorial here. “Arrival of honourable Chief Minister. He will be received by Chief Secretary and Director General of Police,” the memorandum states, also listing Parrikar’s speech at 9.25 a.m. Parrikar is currently undergoing treatment for advanced pancreatic cancer in a New York hospital. The sixty-two-year old former Defence Minister has been hospitalised on three occasions in Mumbai’s Lilavati Hospital and the Goa Medical College here. Although party officials claim he is expected to arrive in Goa later this month, similar assurances made by BJP leaders over the last three months haven’t come through.

In his absence, the Chief Minister has appointed a three-member ministerial committee to tackle the day-to-day functioning of the BJP-led coalition government. Speaking to IANS on Monday, a senior BJP official ruled out Parrikar’s return to Goa by June 18. “We are not aware of his return to Goa. As far as we know, there are some tests which are expected to be conducted later this month. But as far as the party is concerned, he will not be in Goa to attend the June 18 function,” the official said.

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