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Parsekar to lead BJP in 2017 Goa polls: Party leader

 2015-12-03 14:53:08.0

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Panaji: �Days after the controversy surrounding Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar's alleged comments about retiring from politics, a top BJP leader in Goa on Thursday said the party would be contesting the 2017 assembly polls under the leadership of Chief Minister Laxmikant Parsekar. Parsekar, who later spoke to reporters in Panaji, also said he was willing to accept any responsibility thrust upon him by the party leadership. When asked at a press conference at the party's state headquarters if the BJP would be contesting the elections under the leadership of the incumbent chief minister, Bharatiya Janata Party state unit president Vinay Tendulkar said: "Yes". Parsekar was appointed the chief minister last year after the elevation of Parrikar as defence minister. However, Parrikar, who has been the party's most popular face for over two decades now, on Sunday dropped a googly by hinting at possible retirement. "After 60 (years), one has to think about retirement. I turn 60 on December 13, therefore, I had started thinking about retirement two-three years back. I have to intensify that, therefore, I don't feel inclined to take up big responsibilities," Parrikar said at a function in Mapusa, a town located 12 km from Panaji. Parrikar also made a comment about dearth of good leadership in a small state like Goa and said that he would drag the state government back on track if it veered from course. "Finally, there is a question mark over the possibility of finding people with leadership qualities in a small state. But one thing I will say, my attention will be on Goa. And if the government in Goa goes on a wrong path, then I will bring it back on track. I can give this guarantee to Goans," he had also said. On Monday, however, Parrikar took to Twitter to say retirement was not on the cards. "My correct statement - At the age of 60, normally people think of retirement and perhaps I would have also... But I had to take bigger responsibilities at Centre and I assure you that I will come back only after finishing the task I am given," Parrikar said. Over the last two decades, every Goa assembly election has been contested by the BJP under the leadership of Parrikar, but this time round Parsekar claims he is ready for the same job. "When I was appointed chief minister, initially I thought it would be a daunting task, but over a period of time it has become routine work... Until today I have accepted anything what the party has told me to do, if the party wants me to I will do it," Parsekar said. (IANS)

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