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I will be BJP's face for next assembly polls: Parsekar

PTI 11 Nov 2014, 22:07:00 PM IST

Panaji: Goa Chief Minister Laxmikant Parsekar today claimed that he would be the party's face for the 2017 Legislative Assembly elections in the state.  “Since I am the Chief Minister, definitely I will be the face. I have to get the party re-elected to the power. I have only two and half years,” Parsekar told PTI in an interview here this evening.

He took over the reins after his predecessor Manohar Parrikar joined the Union cabinet.

“I have only one-and-half-year, because the last one year in the run-up to the polls is always marked by the protests and unnecessary issues raised by the opposition. So I have to prove my capability in the next one and half years and get my party ready for the polls,” he said.

Stating that BJP's victory in 2012 was a collective one, Parsekar said that Parrikar had been projected as the face, but the election was fought by the party.  “I was Goa unit chief during the polls, so naturally I was second in the pecking order after Parrikar. In other states, the party presidents have first claim on Chief Minister's post,” he stated.

“Had I coveted the Chief Minister's post, the party would not have succeeded. I would have been busy picking candidates who will support me after the polls. But that never happened.  So my role helped the party win the 2012 polls,” he said.  

To another question, he said, it would be “childish” to comment on whether BJP would fight the 2017 elections in alliance with Maharashtrawadi Gomantak Party, as in 2012.

“By 2017, BJP will be strong so that it will be able to contest all the constituencies on its own and win,” he said.  The Chief Minister said he would distribute the portfolios by this weekend, and retain mining and town and country planning—which were earlier with Parrikar.  

He would seek Parrikar's guidance for the next few months, but would also have his own views and not depend on Parrikar alone for decision making, he said.
When asked if Goa will have, in effect, two Chief Ministers, he said, “No sir, there will be only one CM. I also have a vision for the state. We will superimpose my vision with his (Parrikar's).

“When Parrikar was the Chief Minister, we did not study our portfolios properly. Sometimes we did not have a grip on the issues. Now as I am the Chief Minister, the ministers will get freedom to work in their respective departments,” he said.