As Goa faces a leadership crisis with Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar away for treatment, the BJP is likely to appoint a deputy chief minister in the coastal state as a stop-gap arrangement, sources said. A delegation of BJP leaders met BJP chief Amit Shah on Wednesday to work out a solution after the opposition Congress staked claim to power.
A decision on the appointment of a deputy chief minister is likely to be taken in two to three days, sources said.
The BJP is unlikely to appoint a new chief minister as that would demand a floor test for the BJP to prove its majority in the state assembly - a challenging feat for the BJP in current circumstances.
The Congress is the largest party with 16 seats and the BJP has 14 in the Goa assembly. The BJP's allies - the Goa Forward Party (GFP) and the Maharashtrawadi Gomantak Party (MGP) - have three each. The BJP is also supported by three independent legislators.
The Congress on Wednesday claimed it has the support of over 21 legislators in the 40-member assembly; if true, the number gives the party enough strength to form the government in the state.
A team of BJP leaders led by general secretary Ram Lal, Goa BJP president Vinay Tendulkar and Union Minister of State Shripad Naik, visited Goa last weekend to take stock of the political situation and later briefed met Amit Shah at his home in Delhi on Wednesday. Sources said there is no threat to the BJP-led government in the state and the alliance is intact.
The Shiv Sena, in its latest attack on ally BJP, blamed the party for being solely responsible for the current political situation in the state. "... it is as if the entire Goa cabinet is in the ICU. Goa has become a leaderless state and the administration is not able to function. All this has led to political instability, which is not good for the state," the Sena said in its mouthpiece Saamana.
Mr Parrikar, 62, who is suffering from a pancreatic ailment, has been admitted to the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) in New Delhi for treatment.
With inputs from PTI