Thursday, 6 November 2014

Two RSS leaders in race for Goa's CM post

PANAJI/NEW DELHI: Amid speculations of Goa chief minister Manohar Parrikar being elevated as a Union minister, BJP's Goa unit will meet on Thursday and is expected to finalise a name for state's top job.

Parrikar on Wednesday held a meeting with BJP president Amit Shah in Delhi amidst reports that he could get the defence portfolio in a Union Cabinet reshuffle. Later in the night, he followed it up with a meeting with Prime Minister Narendra Modi and told reporters after the meet that they only discussed Goa issues.

Parrikar said he would comment on reports of his induction in the Union Cabinet only after an "official announcement" is made.

"Let there be an official announcement. Until then I cannot say anything," Parrikar said.

Parrikar was speaking to reporters at the Dabolim airport just after he returned from New Delhi.

The party has not disclosed the venue of the meeting to avoid workers and media attention.

"The discussion would be held on who should be next Goa chief minister and also candidate contesting the Panaji seat, which would fall vacant after Parrikar resigns to take the bigger assignment," a senior party leader said on condition of anonymity.

The names of two veterans — health minister Laxmikant Parsekar and Speaker Rajendra Arlekar — are being considered for the top post, sources said.


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(Prime Minister Narendra Modi with Goa CM Manohar Parrikar during a meeting in New Delhi.)

Both the leaders with RSS background, in the past have headed the party in the state.

"I will go by what party decides. I am not in the race.

There is no race for the post. It would be the decision of the party," Parsekar said.

Arlekar, on the other hand said that he has not yet been communicated anything about the CM's post.

"I have not been communicated anything. But if party gives me any responsibility I will handle it to my best capacity," said Arlekar, an MLA from Pernem constituency.

Parsekar and Arlekar are among those leaders who, along with Parrikar, laid foundation of BJP in the state, fighting against regional Maharashtrawadi Gomantak Party (MGP) and Congress.

MLA Parsekar represents Mandrem constituency in North Goa, had led BJP's state unit in 2002 and 2012 when it won in Goa.