As Goa Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar is all set to resign from his post on Saturday, Goa witnesses the worst battle for the CM race with the declaration of Francis D’Souza to quit the government if he was not made the chief minister.
“If I am not made the chief minister, I do not wish to continue in the government,” said D’Souza on Friday. Health Minister Laxmikant Parsekar, Speaker of the assembly Rajendra Arlekar and Union minister of State for Culture and Tourism Shripad Naik are others in the Goa CM race.
While both Parsekar and Arlekar have an RSS background, D’souza enters as a catholic face. Goa is a state which has over 30 per cent of catholic population. As per reports, D’souza has claimed that he should be the made as the successor of Parrikar as he is the senior most member in the Goa Assembly.
According to a report, D’souza reportedly said to a leading daily, “I will immediately resign from the Cabinet if I am made to work under anyone who is junior to me. I am the second-in-command and I deserve to be elevated to the CM’s post once Parrikar assumes office in the Union cabinet.”
However, Parrikar said, “A central observer have been appointed, who will decide and whatever feedback is required, I will give it to them. Francis D’Souza is my friend and classmate. I can never be unhappy with him; definitely his concerns need to be addressed.”
Parrikar said he will hold a meeting to look into the matter of D’souza. “However it is the prerogative of the legislators and I cannot reveal what they have expressed in confidence. We will officially announce the name tomorrow. As for D’Souza, I will be holding a meeting with him later tonight.”
Meanwhile, supporters of D’souza claimed that it is due to the effort taken by him that the minorities of the state vote for BJP and mentioned that it was the first time in the history of Goa.
While Parrikar’s name was floated as the new Chief Minister, Goa was awaiting for a successor in his post. Amid speculations that Parrikar may move into Union Cabinet, it was made clear on Friday that Parrikar will be elevated to the post of Defence Minister by Sunday. Parrikar has announced that he was formally invited by Modi to join his central cabinet.
After Parrikar was all set to join Modi Cabinet, he has expressed his reservation to take up the responsibility, saying, “One reservation is obviously is because I am elected from the state for a five year term with a popular mandate. Obviously my feeling was that unless I complete my term it is not exactly not right on my part to leave in the middle.”
He added, “It is not right on my part to leave mid-way as I was elected with a popular mandate in Goa for five years”. But he said, “If the party feels that it is a necessity then one has to accept it.”
Giving prominence to the ‘national interest,” Parrikar said that though he has a lot of attachment to Goa, rationality dictates that “when the nation requires my services I should accept.”
However, BJP is ready for a reshuffle, where about 20 cabinet ministers and ministers of state are set to sworn-in at the ceremony, which will take place on Sunday. The reshuffling of union cabinet will pave way for lightening the burden of ministers who were taking charges of more than one ministry. Modi’s present team includes 22 cabinet ministers and 22 MoS.