A day after Nitin Gadkari’s remark about BJP’s chief ministerial candidate in Goa fired up speculations, Union minister Shripad Naik on Friday said he was willing to head a government in his home state if the party asked him to do so. However, he made it clear that neither he nor his fellow Goan Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar has asked the party to nominate them as chief ministerial candidate for the state Assembly elections. Naik represents North Goa seat in Lok Sabha.
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“I have not asked for it. Also, Manohar Parrikar has not asked for it,” the AYUSH Minister told PTI when asked about Gadkari’s remarks. Gadkari had told reporters yesterday the next chief minister would be decided in a democratic way by the elected representatives and “this leader can either be from the elected representatives or we can even send (someone) from the Centre”.
The remarks made by Gadkari, the BJP in-charge for Goa polls, strengthened perception among political circles that the central leader he was hinting at could be Parrikar, a former Goa chief minister. Earlier in the day, Parrikar parried queries on his possible return to Goa politics, saying: “I can only say that let us cross the bridge when it comes.”
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Naik said: “If the party gives responsibility, I am ready to take up the post of Goa chief minister. As you know, we (I and Parrikar) are disciplined soldiers of the party. We will take up any responsibility assigned by the party. But we have not asked for the post.”
He said what Gadkari meant was “options are open. There might be a situation wherein incumbent chief minister Laxmikant Parsekar may continue to be on the chair if he is selected by elected representatives.” Goa goes to polls on February 4 to elect the 40-member House.