Goa will have to wait until Saturday for a new chief minister, with Manohar Parrikar, who is tipped to be India’s defence minister, all set to quit.
Parrikar said that he would be putting in his papers Saturday.
Speaking to reporters ahead of a crucial meeting of the Bharatiya Janata Party’s legislative wing, Parrikar said: “The new chief minister will be sworn in Saturday afternoon.”
BJP sources said Parrikar may be inducted into the Rajya Sabha from Uttar Pradesh.
Parrikar said he would submit his resignation after the meeting of the BJP’s parliamentary board, which is expected put the final seal on his elevation to the union cabinet.
The contenders for the chief ministerial post are Speaker Rajendra Arlekar, Health Minister Laxmikant Parsenkar and Deputy Chief Minister Francis D’Souza.
Arlekar has solid Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) credentials and also enjoys the confidence of Parrikar.
One potential blip on his record, however, is a petition by a lawyer activist pending in a trial court accusing the speaker of allegedly amassing disproportionate assets.
Parsenkar has been a state chief of the BJP on two occasions and like Arlekar has traditionally enjoyed the confidence of the chief minister.
On Wednesday, both Arlekar and Parsenkar said they were not actively gunning for the top slot.
D’Souza, on the other hand who has avoided the media, has in the past been a rallying point for dissenting legislators within the BJP, especially the Catholic legislators within the party.
He is also one of BJP’s oldest minority faces. While his inconsistent health is a matter of concern, his appointment as chief minister could help the party appease the state’s 26 percent Catholic population.