Clearing all speculations of joining Union Cabinet as Defence Minister, Goa Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar has almost confirmed to get into Unions Cabinet, for which he is all set to resign his chief ministerial post on Friday.
After meeting BJP President Amit Shah on Thursday, Parrikar revealed that Shah has asked him to accept any new responsibility offered by the Prime Minister to him. “Party president Amit Shah talked to me in the morning and told me to accept any assignment given to me by the prime minister. The second part is the prerogative of the prime minister,” he said.
Parrikar said “The official offer is yet to be received. That will come from the prime minister. That I should not deny it that is the clearance from the party.” Though he said he has not yet received an official offer, he said, “the party has given me a no objection certificate (NOC) to join the Union cabinet” which clearly states “half part of the decision to join the Union Cabinet is taken”.
He said, “The decision will be taken before November 9, and the media will come to know on November 8, since the parliamentary board meeting is scheduled on November 8 in Delhi.”
Meanwhile, Parrikar has reportedly expressed his reservation to take up the offer, 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.”
When asked about the minister’s feelings, he reportedly said, “Have you ever eaten a half ripe mango? It is a bit sour and a bit sweet. My feelings are like that.”
However, the minister has expressed his attachment towards the state and said, “I have a lot of attachment to Goa, but rationality dictates that when the nation requires my services I should accept.”
However, Parrikar has not yet made it clear which portfolio he is likely to get allotted. The defence ministry is currently taken in charge by Finance Minister Arun Jaitley. If Parrikar joins Modi cabinet, there will be two Union Ministers from Goa at the centre for the first time.
Parrikar was summoned to Delhi for a meeting with Modi and party president Amit Shah on Wednesday evening, along with Goa BJP President Vinay Tendulkar and organising secretary Satish Dhond.
Parrikar was the CM of Goa from 2000 to 2005 and from March 2012 to 2014.
While Modi cabinet gets ready for a reshuffle, about 20 cabinet ministers and ministers of state are set to sworn-in at the ceremony, which will take place on Sunday, November 9. 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.