Union Minister for Road Transport Nitin Gadkari said the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) could bring in a central leader to head the government in Goa, should the party win the upcoming polls.
At present, the BJP government in Delhi has two members from Goa: Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar and Shripad Naik, Union Minister of State Ministry of Ayurveda, Yoga & Naturopathy, Unani, Siddha and Homoeopathy (AYUSH).
“Elected MLAs will choose their leader as Chief Minister,” Mr. Gadkari said at a press conference at the BJP office in Panaji, “If the elected MLAs cannot decide on their leader, then the Parliamentary Board can get a central leader.”
In follow-up questions, Mr. Gadkari refused to categorically state if he was referring to Mr. Parrikar, who served as Chief Minister of Goa from 2012 to 2014 before heading the MoD at the Centre.
Mr. Parrikar, who was not present at this press conference, has been visibly running the BJP campaign in Goa, and remains popular in this southern state.
“I am giving an opportunity to the voters, ki hum log yeh bhi kar sakte hai, voh bhi kar sakte hai,” Mr. Gadkari said.
Minutes before Mr. Gadkari’s remarks, current BJP Chief Minister Laxmikant Parsekar told the Hindustan Times that he expected to remain Chief Minister if his party won a majority.
“It is but natural that if you get absolute majority, obviously I would be the choice,” Mr. Parsekar said, even as he insisted that such decisions would be taken in consultation with his MLAs and party high command.