New Delhi:Goa Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar resigned Saturday to pave way for his transfer to Delhi, but the crisis in the BJP state unit remains unresolved with deputy chief minister Francis D’Souza insisting he is still in the race for the top job.
“I am still hopeful of being selected for the post. My name is still in the list. I am waiting for the decision from high command,” D’Souza told media, ahead of his crucial meeting with Parrikar.
D’Souza who arrived from London yesterday had claimed support of more than 12 legislators.
He had said that he wouldn’t work under a junior. His statements came after state health Minister Laxmikant Parsekar and speaker Rajendra Arlekar emerged front runners for the post.
“When I came back from abroad I was not knowing that my name is shortlisted. My outburst was due to the media reports,” D’Souza said.He said that he is a loyal worker of the party and would not go against its wishes.
D’Souza had earlier said that minority support to the BJP will be impacted if he is not chosen as the CM and also threatened to pull out of the government if his demand is not met.
The claim by D’Souza has posed a challenge before the party leadership as he represents the Christian community, which accounts largest part of the population of the state and has voted for Parrikar-led BJP in the recent elections.
Undermining D’Souza may cost dear to the party on caste equations in the next assembly elections that are two-and-half years away.
Party MLAs, however, have expressed their opinion on the new leadership with Arlekar and Parsekar getting maximum support.
According to the party sources, the Parsekar has largest support from the MLAs and even Parrikar is believably in his favour to replace him.
Parsekar has considerable administrative experience as a minister for years, while Arlekar lacks on that front though his clean image stands in favour of him.
Arlekar also enjoys the strong support of the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh and it may prove to be in his favour. Dalit face of the party, Aklekar’s father Vishwanath was one of the founder members of the Jan Sangh in the state.
With 21 MLAs, the BJP has the majority in 40 seat assembly in Goa. A group of MLAs feel that the party needs a dynamic leader like Parsekar to lead the party, which has only one seat more that the 50% mark.
The BJP is expected to announce a new CM for Goa after a meeting of party legislators around 4pm on Saturday.
The party’s national observers Rajeev Pratap Rudy and BS Yeddyurappa will be present at the meeting in Goa to tide over the process of transition from Parrikar to the new chief minister.