Manohar Parrikar
In picture: Former Defence Minister Manohar ParrikarReuters File Photo

Goa Governor Mridula Sinha appointed Manohar Parrikar as the chief minister of the state on Sunday and asked him to prove majority in the state assembly within 15 days. Parrikar resigned as the defence minister of India on Sunday to take charge as the CM of Goa after the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) staked claim to form government in the state.

Parrikar, along with BJP MLAs, three MLAs each from the Maharashtrawadi Gomantak Party (MGP) and the Goa Forward Party (GFP) and three Independent MLAs — who won in the Goa Assembly elections, met Governor Mridula Sinha and staked claim to form government in the state.

Parrikar addressed a press conference in Goa in which he thanked Union Minister Nitin Gadkari for having arrived in the state at such a short notice. He said: "This is a mandate given by the people, though we fell short of majority. Together we have completed the magic figure of 21... We met the Governor, expecting an invitation. Once we receive it, we will consult our colleagues and decide the date for swearing in."

Gadkari also addressed the media and said that "neither PM Modi nor Amit Shah nor myself were in favour of sending Parrikar back to Goa as CM. But Parrikar said that he is 'karyakarta' and if Goa needs him, he will return to the state."

He added: "The MGP, GFP said during our discussions that if Manohar Parrikar becomes Goa CM candidate, then we will support... The BJP Parliamentary Board has agreed to allow Parrikar to resign but there is a procedure that needs to be followed first. If Goa needs it, Parrikar says he's ready to resign as defence minister. We are in talks with independent MLAs and other parties and respect their wishes for a stable government."

"We are supporting BJP to have stability in the government. We don't want development of the state to hinder due to instability," GFP leader Vijai Sardesai told the media at the press meet. State BJP unit chief Vinay Tendulkar said, "The BJP Central leadership has agreed on Parrikar to head the BJP legislature wing following which the decision to stake claim to form government was taken."

The Goa unit of the BJP had said on Sunday that it wants Parrikar to return as the chief minister of the state. All legislators had signed a resolution with regard to the matter and sent it to BJP President Amit Shah.

The MGP and the GFP had said that they would support the BJP only if Parrikar returned to the state as its chief minister.

MGP leader Sudin Dhawalikar had told India Today: "We have passed a resolution to support the BJP only if Manohar Parrikar is made the Chief Minister. We have written a letter to (BJP president) Amit Shah to consider our request. I have also spoken to Goa Forward Party and they too will support if Parrikar is made the Chief Minister. The NCP too is willing to join us."

The move comes after neither the BJP nor the Congress managed to cross the halfway mark of 21 seats in the recently concluded Goa Assembly elections in order to form government in the state. Parrikar was the chief minister of Goa before he left the job to serve the country as the defence minister.