Deputy Speaker and Calangute MLA Michael Lobo on Saturday said there are leaders to take over if Manohar Parrikar steps down, but maintained that no one can dictate Parrikar to resign as Chief Minister, either at the Centre or the local BJP. He also said that central leadership will soon take an appropriate decision on the leadership in Goa and a mechanism will be put in place to run the administration in the State. “As long as Parrikar is there, no one will defy him. He is a leader who has made a lot of contribution for the State and the BJP. He has sacrificed himself for the party. He has sacrificed his entire life for Goa. So nobody will tell him to step down,” Lobo said.
The Calangute MLA disclosed that resignation of Parrikar was discussed innumerable times, even when he was undergoing treatment in the US. He said the central leadership will also not insist on him to step down and will leave it up to him. “Since Parrikar is a tall leader of BJP in Goa, who has brought the party up and who rose to be the defence minister of the country, I think only he can decide about his resignation and nobody else,” he said. Lobo dismissed the perception that BJP was forced to keep Parrikar as the CM, as there was no unanimity on a CM candidate who is acceptable to the party and the two alliance partners. “Every person is a leader. I am also a leader. But when our tall leader is there and he’s in the hospital taking treatment, it is his decision. None of us can tell him to step down. If he cannot continue, he will tell the national president and the Goa party that he is stepping down,” he averred. “If he decides to step down, there are leaders to take over. There is always a second, third or fourth person to take over,” he added.
On the paralysis of administration in the State, he said, the central leadership was aware of the problem and whatever decision has to be taken will be taken within a matter of days. “Whatever needs to be done like acting chief minister or deputy CM who will take charge till Parrikar gets well or a three member committee will be made available to general public from Monday…Next week a solution will be taken,” he said.