Goa Election 2017: Manohar Parrikar says he 'never said no' to returning to state politics

In an indication that he might relinquish his current job as India's defence minister Manohar Parrikar on Wednesday said that he is ready to go back to Goa politics if his party, the BJP, is re-elected in the forthcoming polls in the state.

Speaking to CNN-News18, the former Goa chief minister said that he "never said no to any request by the party", in a clear indication that he might return as the chief ministership if asked by the central high command in New Delhi.

 Goa Election 2017: Manohar Parrikar says he never said no to returning to state politics

File image of Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar. PTI

Parrikar was responding to BJP chief Amit Shah's comment during his public meeting at Goa's Vasco on Tuesday, where he said that the next government in the state will "function under Parrikar's leadership, irrespective of his posting".

Shah's statement had come just days after Union Minister Nitin Gadkari indicated that it is ready to bring in a leader from Delhi to rule Goa.

"(Prime Minister) Narendrabhai (Modi) needs him (Parrikar) at the Centre as well. We will decide after elections where Parrikar will be working. But let me assure you that wherever Parrikar may be working, the Goa government will function under his leadership," the BJP chief had said.

Toeing a similar line, state BJP chief Vinay Tendulkar said that the people of Goa wanted to see Parrikar back as the chief minister. "Parrikar has good mass contact, that is why there is demand coming up from people that he should be brought back to Goa. But the decision on it would be taken by elected MLAs after the polls," Tendulkar had told PTI.

Goa goes to the polls on 4 February. BJP"s campaign is being led by Laxmikant Parsekar, who had replaced Parrikar as chief minister in November 2014. The state is set to witness a multi-cornered fight, with the AAP and the Maharashtrawadi Gomantak Party-led alliance vying to win the 40-seat Assembly.

Updated Date: Jan 25, 2017 13:21:51 IST