Parrikar 'names' Siddharth, pending official announcement

GOANEWS DESK, PANAJI | 12 December 2014 22:10 IST

Much before the party could officially decide, defence minister Manohar Parrikar has named his successor – his close aide Siddhartha Kunkolienkar, for Panaji.

It was a unanimous choice today at the Panaji constituency Mandal meeting of the Bharatiya Janata Party workers.

The meeting was attended by Parrikar, who arrived from Delhi for weekend.

Panaji has fallen vacant as Parrikar resigned to contest as Rajya Sabha MP from Luknow after he was inducted as the defence minister of India.

The media was later told that Siddhartha is the ‘choice’ of the Mandal, but he is not the officially declared candidate.

Interestingly, Raju Sukerkar, another candidate pushed by some party leaders, was not present at the meeting.

Raju is equally close to Parrikar though not as much as Siddhartha.

Siddhartha has been moving with Parrikar as his shadow for almost a decade now.

As Parrikar’s ‘choice’ has been opposed by a section of the state BJP leadership, it appears that Parrikar has made this move in order to pressurise the leadership.

Officially, the local party unit would recommend names to the Central Parliamentary Board (the High Command of the BJP), which needs to take a final decision.

Parrikar, last week, had said the decision would be taken by the Board.

But now he appears to be pushing for Siddhartha, sensing trouble, similar to choosing his successor to run the state.

While speaker Rajendra Arlekar was the frontrunner, chief minister Laxmikant Parsekar’s name was pushed by rest of the state-level colleagues of Parrikar.

Apparently, Parrikar is trying to avoid the ‘repeat show’ by staging such ‘backdoor show’ to push for his successor – Siddhartha Kunkolienkar. 

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