A senior party functionary while confirming the three names said a formal announcement would be made by BJP's Parliamentary Board after its meeting in Delhi on Saturday. Meanwhile, hectic political discussions and meetings continued during the night in Goa's capital city of Panaji. All the BJP MLAs were huddled in a hotel during the night. "It is a matter of pride that Parrikar is likely to be inducted as country's Defence Minister.
But, we will surely miss him here in Goa," said party's state unit president Vinay Tendulkar after emerging from a closed-door meeting late last night. He refused to divulge the names likely to be short listed as Parrikar's successor, but said, "Capable person would be given the post."
Breaking his silence over reports about his possible appointment as Defence Minister, Parrikar had yesterday said that BJP chief Amit Shah had asked him to take up an assignment at the Centre, if offered, and that he was willing to shoulder the responsibility. The 58-year-old senior BJP leader, who rode the party to victory in the 2012 state Assembly elections, was emotional while announcing his departure from state politics.
"I am disturbed at leaving the post. But the nation is bigger than state for me. I have a mixed feeling," he told reporters. Later in the evening, the Chief Minister was choked with tears when he met select party workers in Panaji. "I am going to Delhi because they have asked me to take up the assignment. I will always be available for Goa whenever required," he said in a brief speech as he was unable to control his emotions.
"I will be emotional if I speak more," he said summing up the meeting. Talking to a news channel late last night, Parrikar said he would miss the "fish curry-rice", if he is selected for an assignment in Delhi.