Panaji: Union Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar may have been entrusted with the task of defending the country, but Goa's new Chief Minister Laxmikant Parsekar conceded Tuesday, minutes after assuming charge, that he too looks forward to being "defended and protected" by Parrikar in his new innings.
Parsekar said that he would be consulting Parrikar on issues related to portfolio allocation, and make efforts to superimpose his vision on the legacy left by Parrikar as the state's chief minister.
"...in the early days, especially on cabinet and portfolios, I will seek guidance, cooperation and involvement from the earlier chief minister. Therefore, along with country's defence, I feel that I should also be defended and protected," Parsekar said.
The new chief minister said that Parrikar was expected to return to Goa for a couple of days later this week when both of them would meet and exchange notes on governance as well as simulate each other's vision for the state.
"The portfolio allocation will happen this week," he assured.
Earlier, Parsekar followed by his slogan-chanting supporters marched towards the state secretariat where he first offered floral tributes at a statue of Goa's first chief minister Dayanand Bandodkar. He then took salute from a police guard of honour, and stepped into the office. The officials of the Chief Minister's Office welcomed him with a bouquet.
Parsekar, a former health minister, was appointed chief minister Sunday after the incumbent Parrikar was elevated to the Narendra Modi cabinet as defence minister, the highest ministerial position ever held by a Goan politician.
Parsekar admitted that Parrikar's shadow loomed large over him, but also added that he saw no need to "become another Manohar Parrikar", adding that he was looking to blend his vision with Parrikar's legacy.
Speaking of promises and priorities, Parsekar said his main objective was to deliver a clean administration, adding that unemployment was an immediate challenge.
"Goa has a lot of unemployment. Therefore, apart from self-employment, creation of jobs in tourism, pharma, IT (sectors) is necessary...Youngsters in Goa have to look beyond government jobs," Parsekar said.
Parsekar said that he would like to keep the key ministries which are conventionally part of the chief ministerial portfolio, but added that he would not keep as many portfolios as his predecessor.
"If my burden is lessened, it is good," said Parsekar, who has less than two-and-half years left for the government's term to complete.