For the upcoming polls in Goa, ruling BJP party has decided to go on without a CM candidate even as candidates names for 29 seats, including 17 sitting MLAs were announced on Thursday.
Chief Minister, Laxmikant Parsekar’s name did appear on the list, following the party’s central election committee (CEC) meeting on Wednesday.
Union Minister, Nitin Gadkari, who is the BJP in-charge for Goa elections hinted at the possibility of Manohar Parrikar returning to Goa and be the next CM for the state if the MLAs decide so after the polls. “A leader in Delhi could be made the CM of Goa if the party MLAs decide,” said Gadkari at a press conference.
A local daily reported that a source from the saffron party has confirmed the possibility and stated that there are chances that Parrikar could return to state politics. Furthermore the daily added that the source said that national BJP president Amit Shah had discussed the matter with PM Modi. “Our newly elected MLAs will elect a new leader and it’s not necessary that this leader should be from the MLAs itself. We could send him from the Centre too,” Gadkari said.
Answering the question on whether it was indeed an indication that Parrikar, who reluctantly left the Goa chief ministership to take up the defence minister’s post, Gadkari said, “How did you understand what I did not want to say? My exact sentence has been understood by the one who has to understand it.”
Gadkari informed that Parrikar has not expressed willingness to move back to Goa, “but we are keeping all options open”. Reportedly, there was no comment given when contacted Parrikar over the phone.
On the question as to why the saffron party refrained from declaring a CM candidate, Gadkari said that the election was being contested under the leadership of Parrikar, Goa CM Laxmikant Parsekar, Union minister Shripad Naik and state BJP president Vinay Tendulkar. “If MLAs want, even Parsekar will be made the CM,” he said, with CM Parsekar seated next to him.