The BJP-led alliance in Goa couldn't reach a consensus over the next chief minister today, a move necessitated by the demise of Manohar Parrikar.
Parrikar (63) died late evening yesterday at his residence in Panaji after battling pancreatic cancer for over a year.
BJP MLA Michael Lobo said Union Minister Nitin Gadkari couldn't secure a consensus between the party and its alliance in Goa.
MGP MLA Dhavalikar wants to be the CM: Lobo
Gadkari, a senior BJP leader, who arrived in Panaji in the early hours of the day, could not secure a consensus between the saffron party and its alliance partners in the state, Lobo said.
While Gadkari wasn't available for comments, Lobo said Maharashtrawadi Gomantak Party (MGP) MLA Sudin Dhavalikar wanted to be the chief minister due to which the discussions came to a halt.
BJP wants their camp member to lead the alliance
"Sudin Dhavalikar wants himself to be the CM, while the BJP wants that the leader of the alliance should be from their camp. We couldn't reach to any decision," Lobo said after a night-long meeting.
A solution to the crisis is expected to be found later in the day, he said, adding that BJP MLAs have even suggested the names of two frontrunners.
Vishwajit Rane, Pramod Sawat emerged as frontrunners for post
Lobo said BJP MLAs have suggested the names of Vishwajit Rane (cabinet minister) and Pramod Sawant (speaker of Goa Legislative Assembly) for the post.
Earlier, Goa Forward Party (GFP) chief Vijai Sardesai, emerging from the meeting, had said that the parties were yet to reach a conclusion.
"The BJP has informed them that they will get back later during the day," Sardesai had said.
Party has not shut its doors on BJP, says Sardesai
Sardesai said the parties expressed apprehensions on how to proceed in the absence of Parrikar.
"We are expecting them to respond to our apprehensions soon," he added. The GFP leader, however, said the party had not yet shut its doors on the BJP.
Sardesai was accompanied by his MLAs, Jayesh Salgaonkar and Vinod Palyekar, and Independents Rohan Khaunte, Govind Gawade, and Prasad Gaonkar.
Expecting Gadkari to announce the names soon today: Dhavalikar
Meanwhile, speaking to the reporters, Dhavalikar said that Gadkari held one-on-one meetings with the MLAs and asked them certain questions.
"I cannot disclose the questions as they are confidential. We are expecting Gadkari to announce the name of the chief minister candidate soon today," he said, adding "The MGP will take proper resolution supporting the government after that."
With Parrikar's demise, strength of Legislative Assembly reduced to 36
The MGP MLA added that Gadkari had heard each of the MLAs individually and would soon announce a new leader.
With the demise of Parrikar, the strength of 40-member Goa Legislative Assembly has been reduced to 36.
Last Month, the death of BJP MLA Francis D'Souza brought down the BJP tally in the Assembly to 13. Two Congress members had also resigned last year.