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Politics
Goa deputy CM threatens to quit if he is not made Chief Minister
08-11-2014

MAPUSA: Goa’s deputy chief minister Francis D’Souza has raised the banner of revolt staking his claim to the post of state's chief minister, which will fall vacant after Manohar Parrikar resigns on Saturday to take up his new assignment at the Centre.

“It’s like the chief minister or nothing for me, I will not join the present cabinet if not made the chief minister, and I have strong support of MLAs and ministers," Francis D'Souza told TOI at his Mapusa residence.

“I have 10 MLAs and six cabinet ministers with me, I am not claiming the top post because I a minority leader. Since I am number two in the cabinet, it’s natural that I should be elevated to the top post,” D’Souza said.

“This (Friday) is my last day as deputy chief minister of Goa, tomorrow (Saturday) I will either be CM or nothing, CM had promised me that he will take care of me, he should prove it now," Francis D'Souza said.

“I am 60 now, I am running out of time, I won’t be in politics for long, give me a smooth exit," he said.

Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leadership was so far was considering speaker of the Goa legislative assembly Rajendra Arlekar and senior BJP leader and health minister Laxmikant Parsekar for the top post.

D’Souza, who was on a family tour in London and was due to return on November 16, rushed back to Goa once it became clear that Parrikar will be moving to the Centre.

Sources informed that Francis D’Souza was aware about the possible change in leadership, but Parrikar had told him that he was asking for more time to join the Union Cabinet. So, Francis continued with his foreign tour.

However, as the Centre did not agree to give more time to Parrikar, the process of selecting a successor had to be hastened. D'Souza left London at about 10am on Thursday. He took two trains, two planes and a taxi ride to land at Dabolim airport on Friday afternoon.

Five BJP MLAs Kiran Kandolkar, Glen Souza Ticlo, Michael Lobo, Vishnu Surya Wagh, and Carlos Almeida met the deputy chief minister at his residence in Mapusa.

These MLAs are supporting Francis D'Souza as the chief minister, sources said, adding, there are more MLAs behind Francis but they are not openly expressing their support.