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  India   All India  13 Mar 2017  Goa: Parrikar set to be CM, more MLAs back BJP

Goa: Parrikar set to be CM, more MLAs back BJP

Published : Mar 13, 2017, 12:41 am IST
Updated : Mar 13, 2017, 6:31 am IST

Suresh Prabhu tipped to be next defence minister.

Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar (Photo: PTI)
 Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar (Photo: PTI)

New Delhi: Defence minister Manohar Parrikar is all set to head back to home state Goa as the next chief minister, where the BJP managed to get the required numbers to retain power. The BJP won back former ally Maharashtrawadi Gomantak Party (MGP), got a new ally in Goa Forward Party (GFP) and the support of two Independent MLAs. Saturday’s poll results had thrown up a hung Assembly, with the BJP winning 13 seats and the Congress 17 in the 40-member Assembly. But the BJP managed to get three MGP, three GFP and two Independent MLAs to reach the halfway mark of 21. While the BJP is also in touch with the NCP, that won one seat, the latter was yet to officially reach out to the BJP.

Though there was no official confirmation on whether or not Mr Parrikar had resigned from the Union Cabinet, senior Union minister Nitin Gadkari, the BJP’s election in-charge for Goa, said the state unit had requested that Mr Parrikar be the chief minister, which was “agreed” to by Prime Minister Narendra Modi and the parliamentary board of the party. The name of railway minister Suresh Prabhu is doing the rounds as Mr Parrikar’s possible successor.

Goa BJP chief Vinay Tendulkar also said the central leadership had agreed that Mr Parrikar should head the BJP legislature party in the state.

Mr Parrikar met Goa governor Mridula Sinha on Sunday evening along with Mr Gadkari, 13 party MLAs, three Maharas-htrawadi Gomantak Party MLAs, three Goa Forward Party and three Independent MLAs. The halfway mark in the 40-member Assembly is 21 and the BJP has 22 MLAs on its side. Sources said two BJP MLAs had also indicated they were ready to vacate their seats for Mr Parrikar to be elected to the House. Ever since the Assembly elections were announced, the Goa BJP unit has been demanding that Mr Parrikar return to the state. He was also the party’s “star campaigner”.

Congress general secretary Digvijay Singh accused the BJP of “horse-trading, promising sums, ministries, corporations and SUVs to non-BJP MLAs to get their support”.

“I have never seen in any other state where a political party which has been rejected outright, where the CM has lost, six ministers have lost, yet are staking claim to forming the government,” the senior Congress leader said. He said the BJP should accept defeat as the people of Goa had rejected the party.

Earlier on Sunday, the newly-elected BJP MLAs unanimously backed Mr Parrikar as state legislature party leader, while the MGP too said it would support a government led by Mr Parrikar.

The MGP had snapped ties with the BJP ahead of the Assembly elections over former CM Laxmikant Parsekar’s style of functioning. Mr Parsekar lost his Mandrem seat to his Congress opponent this time, and tendered his resignation earlier during the day.

The newly-elected BJP MLAs also passed a resolution urging party president Amit Shah to nominate Mr Parrikar as leader of the legislature party.

The MGP also passed a resolution extending support to the BJP if it forms government under the leadership of Mr Parrikar.

Tags: manohar parrikar, bjp, nitin gadkari, suresh prabhu, goa forward party, mridula sinha
Location: India, Delhi, New Delhi