30 Dec 2018 06:58am IST
Shripad Naik, SudinDhavalikar, VijaiSardesai, Pramod Sawant, Vinay Tendulkar, Vishwajit Rane and Michael Lobo have expressed interest in top job; BJP says no vacancy yet
With every passing day the number of contenders for the Chief Minister’s chair in Goa seems to be increasing from within and outside the Bharatiya Janata Party.The BJP is on a lookout for a new Chief Minister, who could replace Manohar Parrikar, suffering from pancreatic cancer.
Parrikar, has been mostly bed-ridden since he was discharged from All India Institute of Medical Sciences, Delhi.Initially, the race was between AYUSH Minister Shripad Naik – who is seniormost in BJP and PWD Minister SudinDhavalikar (MGP) – the seniormost in the Parrikar cabinet.
However, for some reason Shripad was overlooked and Sudin was not agreeable to alliance partners and within BJP, despite his close relations with Union Minister Nitin Gadkari.Both Shripad and Sudin have expressed their desire to lead Goa.
Thereafter, it was the turn of BJP state unit president Vinay Tendulkar, who was considered to be front runner. However, his feud with former CM LaxmikantParsekar and many others including youth morcha saw him literally out of the race.Speaker of Goa Legislative Assembly Pramod Sawant was next in line being one of the most favoured MLA of Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar.
Sources revealed that Sawant also took blessing of RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat in Nagpur and was accompanied by Shripad Naik. But fortune did not favour him too then.Health Minister Vishwajit Rane, meanwhile, jumped into the ring scalping two MLAs from the Opposition Congress – DayanadSopte and Subash Shirodkar.
Rumour mills worked overtime to suggest that Rane was the next CM, however, that was not to be as the alliance partners and those within BJP did not approve his name.Of late, alliance partner VijaiSardesai has thrown his hat into the ring when he sarcastically said at a press conference, he is desirous of becoming a CM.
“I want to do many things. I want to be CM,” Sardesai said.This was not just a passing statement by Sardesai but sources reveal he has made his intentions clear to BJP top brass – but is not insisting on it.Last but not the least, Dy Speaker Michael Lobo also claims he wants to be the Chief Minister to bring in reforms for Goa.“I want to lead Goa to bring in development, reforms and for better of Goa,” he said.When this question was posed to BJP State Unit general secretary SadanandShetTanawade, he replied, “there may be many aspirants but currently there is no vacancy for the post.”
“The CM is doing well and at present I don’t see any vacancy or neither can I make any statement as final call has to be taken by high command,” he said.