PANAJI: Indicating uncertainty over the continuation of Laxmikant Parsekar as Chief Minister of Goa if the Bharatiya Janata Party returns to power following the forthcoming state assembly election, Union Minister for Road Transport and Highways Nitin Gadkari on Thursday said that either the elected candidates of his party could choose their leader from among themselves, who will be the next chief minister of Goa, or a central leader of the party, who is not a legislator, could also be brought here to hold the post.
When asked if Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar would return to Goa as Chief Minister, Gadkari, who is in-charge of the party for the election, said that even Union Minister of State for AYUSH (independent charge) Shripad Naik could return to Goa.
“There is no scarcity of leaders in the party and the elected representatives will decide who their leader would be,” he mentioned, noting that the party has all options open for the post of the chief minister, although the campaign for the state assembly polls would be run under the leadership of Parrikar, Parsekar, Naik and state BJP president Vinay Tendulkar.
Addressing a press conference at the state BJP headquarters, Gadkari said that his party would contest the election on the issues such as stable government and employment generation through development of Goa.
“Today, all the political parties contesting election in Goa, except the BJP are unable to form a government on their own strength, which clearly indicates provision of an unstable government by them,” he observed, stating that although politics is a game of contradictions, compulsions and limitations, the BJP is confident of winning more seats than it did during the last assembly election here, and forming its government.
“This time, the BJP parliamentary board has decided that no chief ministerial candidate of the party for Goa should be declared in advance, and allow the election of the chief minister after the assembly polls,” the Union Minister for Road Transport and Highways maintained, recalling that the board had however decided that Narendra Modi would be the prime ministerial candidate of the party for the 2014 Lok Sabha election, much before these polls.
Gadkari also informed that altogether 29 candidates of his party for Goa assembly election have been already announced and the remaining would be declared in next two to three days.
Answering a question, Gadkari said that he had tried to contact the Maharashtrawadi Gomantak Party leader Ramakrishna ‘Sudin’ Dhavalikar, who is a very good friend of his.
“However, Sudin wanted to discuss the MGP-BJP alliance after the announcement of the election date, and I did not try to meet him after this date was declared,” he added, pointing out that Dhavalikar could have been nursing a desire of becoming the chief minister, and further felt that I would not be able to fulfil his dream.
Replying to a question as regards a letter written by state vice-president of the BJP Wilfred Mesquita to Prime Minister Narendra Modi expressing his displeasure towards the party patronising corruption in Goa, Gadkari said that such allegations were levelled against the BJP also in the past however the image of the BJP has always been transparent.
When asked about the support of the local unit of the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh to the BJP during the state assembly election, Gadkari said the RSS never contests any election or steps up on any political platform.
“If anyone claiming to be a RSS leader runs for election or goes on a political platform then this is just contrary to what is expected from a RSS member,” he noted.
Replying to yet another question as regards the fate of the medium of Instruction issue under the BJP government if it returns to power in the state, Gadkari stated that the government would certainly find a solution to the issue.
“The next BJP government will definitely address the MoI issue,” he reiterated.
Shripad Naik, Laxmikant Parsekar, Vinay Tendulkar and Narendra Sawaikar were also present at the briefing.