BJP men also unhappy with change

PANAJI: is likely to continue as the chief minister for the time being due to differences among coalition partners and dissent from within the party to hand over charge temporarily to a senior cabinet minister. After Parrikar was shifted to AIIMS in Delhi on Saturday, differences among the coalition partners—Maharashtrawadi Gomantak Party (MGP) and (GFP) —came out in the open.

While MGP said a senior most minister—after Parrikar, party nominee and PWD minister Ramkrishna ‘Sudin’ Dhavalikar is the senior-most member in the cabinet—should be given temporary charge, GFP and a couple of independents (who are also part of the coalition government) disagreed.

“We got Manohar Parrikar to be the chief minister. That continues and we are not obliged to support anyone as of now,” GFP president and town and country planning minister said.

“People are saying that it is high time, the chief minister gave the charge (to the senior most colleague) to run the government. Everyone knows the government is not running smoothly for many months now. I am not saying because of MGP or my brother, but in public interest,” MGP president Pandurang ‘Deepak’ Dhavalikar told STOI.

Sardesai said the issue wasn’t about Dhavalikar, but the need was to find a permanent solution. “Temporary arrangements undermine stability,” he said.

With GFP making its stand clear, sources said the move to give temporary charge of the chief ministership to Dhavalikar has suffered a setback.

The BJP central team may hold consultations with the party MLAs and its allies for a consensus candidate, who would take over from Parrikar when the need arises. They may also speak to the BJP core committee members over the prospects of the party in case the House is dissolved, paving the way for assembly elections along with polls.

Sardesai, however, said his party would do everything possible to ensure a stable government remains in the state and Goa does not have to face another round of elections.

Art and culture minister also expressed his opposition to Dhavalikar’s candidature, saying seniority cannot be the criteria. A young, healthy, competent person could be a better choice, he felt, adding that in the case of Dhavalikar, his health status would have to be checked, too. Otherwise it could be repeat of what we have seen, he said.

There are strong reservations within the BJP, too, against the move to give the baton to Dhavalikar. “CM Manohar Parrikar is our leader and will always remain our leader. In case temporary charge is to be given, in view of the health issue of the CM, then it should be to a person from the BJP itself,” said party MLA Nilesh Cabral.

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