National

Defence Minister Parrikar? Ask PM, He Says After Meeting

New Delhi, Nov 6: Manohar Parrikar, the Chief Minister of Goa, ended his day in Delhi by trying to stanch speculation that he will soon become the country's Defence Minister. "I came here to discuss Goa issues," Mr Parrikar said after meeting with Prime Minister Narendra Modi. "He did not say anything about that (becoming a union minister)...you should ask him," he added.
 
Earlier this evening, however, after a meeting with party president Amit Shah, the 58-year-old had not ruled out the possibility of a move to the capital, telling reporters, "I will speak only after meeting the Prime Minister."
 
In remarks that were unlikely to quell the reports swirling around him, he toyed with reporters, asking them, "What is your opinion?" before adding "these things don't happen on media speculation. I'm meeting the PM at 8 pm."

Mr Parrikar took over as leader of Goa in 2012 after the BJP won the election.

Within the BJP, there has been talk of the PM prepping to expand his council of ministers - he has 22 cabinet members and another 22 as ministers of state (including 10 with independent charge). Many party heavyweights like Nitin Gadkari lead multiple ministries. Arun Jaitley doubles up as Finance and Defence Minister.

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