January 23, 2017 10:14:30 pm
Days before Goa goes to polls, BJP national president Amit Shah on Monday hinted that Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar could be brought back to lead the government in the state. Speaking at a public meeting in Vasco, Shah said Goans must vote keeping in mind that the state government will work “under his guidance”. “Will decide after elections where Parrikar ji will work. People of Goa must vote keeping in mind that government will work under his guidance,” said Shah.
There were reports doing rounds that Parrikar has been personally monitoring BJP’s election campaign in Goa. On January 12, Union Minister for Road Transport Nitin Gadkari categorically stated that a central minister could be brought back to head the government, in case the party wins the upcoming elections. “Elected MLAs will choose their leader as Chief Minister,” Gadkari said at a press conference. “If the elected MLAs cannot decide on their leader, then the Parliamentary Board can get a central leader.” Apart from Parrikar, Union Minister Shripad Naik is the only other Goan face in the central cabinet. Goa Chief Minister Lakshmikant Parsekar, who succeeded Parrikar in 2014, downplayed Gadkari’s comments saying that it was a calculated statement by Gadkari, and that he would not shy away from accepting a second term as CM.
Earlier in 2016, just before the cabinet reshuffle, Parrikar hinted that he would likely make a return to state politics. “Yes, I will be back in three-four months,” Parrikar told Goa News. Goa will vote on February 4 and counting of votes will begin on March 8. For the first time in Goa politics, it is set to be a three-way fight between the ruling BJP, Congress and Aam Aadmi Party.
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