Panaji Union minister Nitin Gadkari Thursday said Goa Chief Minister Pramod Sawant faces the tough task of running the coalition government in the state, as keeping all the alliance partners together is a challenge.
Gadkari, who was in Goa to address the party's public meeting in support of candidate Siddharth Kunkolienkar for the Panaji bypoll, said the stability of the government was an important criterion for Goa's future development as envisaged by late chief minister Manohar Parrikar.
The by-election to Panaji Assembly segment is scheduled to take place on May 19.
"While taking ahead the vision of Parrikar, the journey of chief minister Pramod Sawant is not going to be easy," he said, adding that it may be difficult for him keep all the alliance partners together.
"Goa's pace of development will face hurdles if there is instability in the state. The results of this election (Panaji by-election) is directly linked to the stability of the government," the minister said.
Recalling the time when Parrikar agreed to resign as the Defence minister and take over the reigns of the state after the 2017 Goa Assembly elections, Gadkari said the late CM had done a great sacrifice for the people of the state by giving up the post in central cabinet.
He said he was personally against Parrikar's return to Goa politics.
"But Parrikar had Goa in his heart. He always wanted to work for the people of the state," Gadkari said.
The by-election to Panaji Assembly constituency is necessitated due to the death of Parrikar on March 17, 2019. Taking a dig at the Congress, Gadkari said the opposition party has fielded a candidate who has all the qualities.
The minister was referring to the criminal cases, including rape, against Congress's Panaji bypoll candidate Atanasio Monserratte.
He also said that former Goa RSS chief Subhash Velingkar is contesting on the Goa Suraksha Manch (GSM) ticket to defeat the BJP candidate, "which is unfortunate".