BJP meeting with allies to name next Goa CM remains inconclusive, decision likely on Monday

Congress MLA Digambar Kamat rubbished reports of him joining the BJP and taking over as the CM.

PANAJI: With the death of Manohar Parrikar, hectic parleys are underway over who will succeed him to take over as the Chief Minister of Goa. The ruling Bharatiya Janata Party-led alliance met in Panaji on Sunday but the leaders failed to come to a consensus. The meeting was also attended by Union minister and senior BJP leader Nitin Gadkari.

After the meeting, BJP MLA Michael Lobo said that MLA Sudin Dhavalikar of alliance partner Maharashtrawadi Gomantak Party (MGP) has thrown his hat in the race for the CM which brought the discussions to a halt.

"Sudin Dhavalikar wants himself to be the CM, while the BJP wants that the leader of the alliance should be from their camp. We could not reach any decision," Lobo said after a night-long meeting. Lobo added that BJP MLAs have named Vishwajit Rane and Pramod Sawant as the probable candidates for the CM post. 

A decision on the same is likely to be taken later in the day. With the demise of Parrikar, the strength of 40-member Goa Legislative Assembly has been reduced to 36. BJP MLA Francis D'Souza died had last month, while two Congress members had resigned last year. 

Meanwhile, Congress MLA Digambar Kamat rubbished reports of him joining the BJP and taking over as the CM. "My programme in Delhi was finalised 2-3 days ago, there's no question of meeting anybody. I had gone to Delhi for personal work. I don't have any offers from the BJP; these stories were planted by vested interests. I'm not bothered about the leadership or the Chief Minister post," Kamat on his return from the national capital.

"If becoming the Chief Minister of Goa is in my destiny then no one can stop him from getting the post," Kamat added.

Goa Congress, which had earlier staked claim to form government in the state, yet again reached out to the Governor over the same. Goa Congress leaders G Chodankar and C Kavlekar in their letter said: "Coalition partners of Parrikar led Govt had allied with BJP on condition that government is headed by Manohar Parrikar. BJP, therefore, has no allies as of now."