BJP rules out replacing ailing Manohar Parrikar in Goa, may reallocate his 52 portfolios
Consensus eluded the ruling BJP alliance in Goa on the way forward given Parrikar’s inability to continue functioning as the chief minister, with party legislators seeking a ‘temporary’ solution while alliance partners demanded a permanent way out of the impasse, leaders familiar with the developments said on Sunday night.
BJP leaders Ram Lal, BL Santosh and Vijay Puranik who were sent by the party’s central leadership to Goa, camped in the state and held meetings with party MLAs and alliance partners in a bid to ‘understand their opinion’ of the current situation.
Leaders continued to speak in different voices, but seemed to agree on the point that Parrikar would continue to hold charge of the chief minister’s post while all of his 52 portfolios would be redistributed.
“Manohar Parrikar is our leader and for as long as he is around, we cannot have a new leader. But we have agreed that the administration needs to move forward. If someone can be temporarily made deputy CM (among the BJP) so that administration functions, I think this is a good solution,” said BJP legislator Nilesh Cabral.
The leader of the alliance partner Goa Forward Party Vijai Sardesai, who met the central BJP leaders with a team of six legislators -- three of his party men and three independents -- said they were pressing for a permanent solution.
“We do not want a temporary arrangement. Whatever happens, there should not be adhocism. Adhocism does not reflect well on the government,” Sardesai said.
The MGP’s Sudin Dhavalikar who led his legislators and party president into the meeting also said that there was no question of leadership change.
“Parrikar is our leader and will continue to be our leader. There are some problems Goa is facing that we would like resolved especially the mining issue that we would like to see restarted by November,” Dhavalikar said. “Any decision on redistributing the portfolios is the prerogative of the chief minister,” he added.
Leadership is a sensitive issue, with Parrikar seen as the glue holding the BJP’s alliance together in Goa. Two of the BJP’s allies including Dhavalikar’s MGP had made their joining the alliance in 2017 conditional to Manohar Parrikar leading the government. With no clear second rung leadership in Goa, the BJP is grappling with options.