'Christian' MLAs oppose 'RSS' Parsekar, demand Francis as new CM

GOANEWS DESK, PANAJI | 07 November 2014 18:36 IST

A strong lobby representing minority constituencies, within and outside the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party, is strongly pushing for deputy chief minister Francis D’Souza as the new chief minister of Goa.

The group has also strongly opposed imposition of CM’s candidate – health minister Laxmikant Parsekar - by the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh.

St Andre MLA Vishnu Wagh has voiced out the demand, after meeting D’Souza today, along with four other BJP legislators.

He was accompanied by Michael Lobo (Calangute), Glenn Ticlo (Aldona) and Carols Almeida (Vasco).

The BJP MLAs, representing the Christian-dominated constituencies, met the Mapusa MLA as soon as he arrived from London.

Wagh claims that they have support of around 12 to 13 legislators, including independent legislators like fisheries minister Avertan Furtado (Navelim) and Benjamin Silva (Velim), once again representing the Christian-dominated areas from Salcete.

Interestingly, the group is opposed only to make Laxmikant Parsekar successor of Manohar Parrikar, who would be inducted in the union cabinet as the defence minister.

“We don’t mind speaker Rajendra Arlekar as the new    CM. He belongs to the scheduled caste community and it would send a positive message to the whole nation, but not Parsekar”, Wagh told goanews.com.

According to Wagh, D’Souza is the serniormost and the face of the minority in Goa, having administrative as well as political experience, being four-time MLA and three-time minister.

“If seniority is the criteria to induct members into the cabinet, then why not the same criteria be applied to choose the chief minister”, asks the first-time MLA Wagh.

Most of these legislators do not belong either to the RSS or the BJP but left non-BJP parties like the Congress before 2012 Assembly election, sensing the anti-Congress mood in support of the BJP in general and Parrikar in particular.

According to Wagh, they don’t mind even water resources minister Dayanand Mandrekar or union tourism minister for state Shripad Naik to succeed Parrikar, but not Parsekar.

“We have seen his functioning as the health and panchayat minister and he has seldom helped any MLA”, opined the young BJP rebel.

He claims that even alliance partners like the three-member Maharashtrawadi Gomantak Party and two-member Goa Vikas Party would support their demand. 

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