Goa Congress chief Girish Chodankar has called Manohar Parrikar a puppet and said that "coalition pressures and love for the chief minister's chair have reduced him from a tiger he was earlier called to a meowing cat".
He accused the senior BJP leader of giving in to the "unreasonable" demands of the BJP's alliance partners "to save his chair".
"Parrikar once had a reputation of a roaring tiger in Goa's politics, but now he has been reduced to a cat. He has been made a puppet by alliance partners like Goa Forward, whose leader Vijai Sardesai is trying to save those behind the fish mafia, after the formalin controversy," Mr Chodankar said.
He told the media that lakhs of Goans loved fish, but the state government had put this favourite food in peril.
"Once upon a time, he was called a tiger, but he is not even meowing now. Imagine Parrikar's situation. He is stuck in his chair and has become blind. He is ready to compromise everyone, including 14 lakh Goans on the issue of formalin used in fish preservation, just to save his post," he added.
The BJP-led state coalition government is under attack for going soft on fish traders, whose consignments brought from other states were found positive for formalin, a powerful disinfectant and carcinogen used to preserve cadavers.
The ongoing monsoon session of the Goa Assembly has been adjourned for two consecutive days, after the Congress demanded a discussion on the formalin controversy.
Mr Chodankar said that the chief minister, who is undergoing treatment for advanced pancreatic cancer, needed rest.
"Actually, I advised him a long time back that he is not able to handle the pressure. The Chief Minister is a very important position. He is the political executive of the state. When I advised him, they (BJP leaders) started threatening me," he said.