The Bharatiya Janata Party on Wednesday slammed the Congress for demanding Goa Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar's resignation, saying that India's first Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru was ill too in his last years in office.
"Our late Prime Minister Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru, in the last three years of his tenure, was ill. He was suffering from paralysis and could not function as a Prime Minister ought to. At that time, our leaders, including Atal Bihari Vajpayee, or the Jan Sangh did not take out a morcha to his house and demand his resignation, as we saw in Goa," state BJP President Vinay Tendulkar said at a press conference in Panaji.
The Congress on Tuesday organised a march to Parrikar's private residence, demanding that he resign as Chief Minister within 48 hours.
Parrikar is suffering from advanced pancreatic cancer, and has not been seen in public for several months now.
When Nationalist Congress Party leader Sharad Pawar was serving as Agriculture Minister in the erstwhile Congress-led United Progressive Alliance government, neither the Congress nor the BJP demanded his resignation, despite the fact that the Maharashtra politician was abroad for cancer treatment.
"Sharad Pawar was suffering from cancer and was being treated abroad, but the BJP did not make it an issue and the Congress did not drop him from the Union Cabinet either," Tendulkar said.
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.
Maharashtrawadi Gomantak Party (MGP) President Deepak Dhavalikar also joined the opposition chorus demanding that the Chief Minister give up the chair immediately.
The MGP is a part of the ruling alliance led by the BJP.