Laxmikant Parsekar, a three-term MLA and former chief of state BJP, was sworn in as the new chief minister of Goa on Saturday after Manohar Parrikar resigned from the post.
Nine other MLAs, including two from BJP’s ally Maharashtrawadi Gomantak Party, also took oath. Two cabinet berths are still vacant. Parsekar said both the post would be soon filled after due deliberation.
Rajiv Pratap Rudy, central observer of the party, announced Parsekar’s name after a meeting of party MLAs. He said the choice was unanimous and there was no discontent among other contenders.
Parsekar, 68, is a two-term president of Goa BJP who started as a Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh worker. He was chosen over Assembly speaker Rajendra Arlekar and Deputy chief minister Francis D’souza.
According to sources in the party, RSS was keen on Arlekar but majority of MLAs seemed to be keen on Parsekar who was health minister in Parrikar’s cabinet. Parrikar himself was in favour of Parsekar as his successor, the sources said.
After Prime Minister Narendra Modi asked Parrikar to join his cabinet, the latter faced a tough task in finalising his successor with three legislators showing interest in the job.
Initially, D’souza — BJP’s Catholic face in Goa — threatened to quit the cabinet if his claim was ignored by the party. He also failed to garner support of sizeable number of party MLAs.
He continues as deputy chief minister and expected to get key portfolio such as Home or Finance in the new cabinet. “I am not disappointed and have no grudge (against Parsekar). I have accepted the decision given by them,” D’souza told HT.
After taking oath of office, Parsekar said his thrust would be on the development work through teamwork. “I would not be able to keep as many portfolios as Parrikar had kept to himself. My thrust would be on the decisions by the respective ministers of the departments,” he said.
Parsekar said that the allocation of the portfolios would be done after consultation with Parrikar once he is back to Panaji next week.