In the midst of speculations that the Goa Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar may become the new Defence Minister, the BJP state unit is expected to finalise a leader for the CM post during the meeting that will be held on Thursday.
According to reports, Parrikar is likely to attend the meeting to be held in Panaji with Goa unit president Vinay Tendulkar and General Secretary Satish Dhond this afternoon.
As the Union Cabinet is all set to reshuffle on Sunday, there were speculations that Parrikar would be raised as the Defence Minister. In the absence of a Defence Minister, at present, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley handles the additional charge of the ministry.
According to sources, Health Minister Laxmikant Parsekar and Speaker of Legislative Assembly Rajendra Arlekar, who are with RSS background, are considered for the CM post in Goa.
While Parsekar said, “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,” Arlekar commented that “I have not been communicated anything. But if party gives me any responsibility I will handle it to my best capacity.”
Meanwhile, a senior party leader reportedly said, “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.”
However, Parrikar was summoned to Delhi for a meeting with Modi and party president Amit Shah on Wednesday evening, along with Goa Bharatiya Janata Party president Vinay Tendulkar and organising secretary Satish Dhond.
The CM has said that there were no discussions on his joining the union cabinet. He said, “The prime minister did not talk about my joining the cabinet. We discussed Goa issues."
Though Parrikar said, "There was no discussion with the Prime Minister about any role in the Cabinet; I am still the Goa Chief Minister," after his meeting with Amit Shah, he said, "I will meet the Prime Minister at 8 PM. After that I can answer your question. Let me first meet PM after that I will talk to media and answer the speculation."
The reshuffling of union cabinet is expected to pave way for lightening the burden of ministers who are being in charge for more than one ministry. Modi’s present team includes 22 cabinet ministers and 22 MoS.