New Delhi, Jan 26: These days, one of the most hotly debated political issues in the Lutyens' Delhi is about the future of Manohar Parrikar. Will the incumbent defence minister continue with his post? Or, the union minister is likely to shift his base to Goa again and don the hat of the state's chief minister, in the event of the Bharatiya Janata Party winning the assembly polls?
The answer is with no one. All we could hear are whispers. Several senior BJP leaders say that Parrikar might return to Goa, if the party comes to power in the state. However, sources in the Prime Minister's Office tell OneIndia that Narendra Modi is unwilling to let Parrikar leave the capital.
The man at the centre of all these rumours, the former CM of Goa, himself is maintaining complete silence. Recently, when journalists asked him the question, in a subtle way he said, "People have their wish."
"People in Goa know me. They can still connect with me. I am staying away from the state for more than two years now. The issue of the CM's post will be addressed after the elections are over," he added.
The BJP has not projected Parrikar as a CM candidate for Goa. He is the star campaigner and the party's chief strategist. Sources say that Parrikar will play a major role in Goa, if the party retains power. "The Prime Minister is not in favour of any change in his cabinet, but there is a growing clamour in Goa for Parrikar to return," sources added.
Several leaders in the Goa BJP unit are unhappy with incumbent Laxmikant Parsekar. They don't like Parsekar's way of functioning. Recently, the Maharashtrawadi Gomantak Party snapped ties with the BJP. The former ally was upset with Parsekar's leadership.
In the midst of all these internal upheavals, the BJP in the state has to fight a multi-cornered contest in the upcoming polls. The BJP is fighting the elections against the Aam Aadmi Party, Congress, MGP, Goa Suraksha Manch and Shiv Sena. It is likely to hurt the BJP in certain pockets, political analysts say. Parrikar, however, maintained that these were old stories and one must wait for the results.