- BJP's Goa unit wants Manohar Parrikar to lead the party in the state
- Manohar Parrikar is a former two-time chief minister of Goa
- He was elevated as Union defence minister by PM Narendra Modi in 2014
The local BJP unit has already sent a resolution demanding that the Union Minister be sent to take charge of the state, to the party brass in Delhi. The Maharashtrawadi Gomantak Party, a former BJP ally which won three seats, has said it would support the BJP if Mr Parrikar is made the Chief MInister. The BJP is also hoping to get the support of another regional party Goa Forward, which also has three seats each.
The BJP has won 14 seats in the 40-member Goa assembly. It has the support of one independent legislator, but needs 21 to form government. The Congress with 18 seats is the largest party and closer to the majority figure. Both have been trying to get the support of the regional parties since yesterday when election results in five states were announced.
The promise of the very popular Mr Parrikar gives the BJP an edge. Also, because with much in Goa centrally controlled, the smaller parties would prefer to align themselves with the party that rules in Delhi. The MGP was the BJP's pre-election ally in 2012 and they split just before this year's election.
Mr Parrikar along with union minister Nitin Gadkari was also present at the key meeting of BJP legislators this morning. He reportedly left the meeting temporarily when the legislators' resolution was passed.
For Mr Parrikar to become Chief Minister, he will be required to resign as the country's Defence Minister. If sworn in, he will have to, within six months, contest a state assembly seat vacated by one of the newly elected BJP legislators.
BJP sources said Mr Parrikar could fly the BJP's newly elected legislators and those who the party is trying to woo to Delhi to meet Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
Manohar Parrikar had led the BJP to victory in the last assembly election but was pulled out for central duty as defence minister in 2014. His absence left a big void that his successor Laxmikant Parsekar struggled to fill. Mr Parsekar lost his election yesterday.
Mr Parrikar had camped in Goa for the elections and did nothing to quell speculation that he could return as chief minister.