Speculation mounted tonight over the possibility of a Union cabinet reshuffle, may be as early as Sunday, as Goa Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar met Prime Minister Narendra Modi amidst reports that he could get the defence portfolio.
There is talk that there could be an induction of as many as 10 ministers. The names of Jat leader from Haryana Birender Singh, who also had a meeting with BJP President Amit Shah, Giriraj Singh, an MP from Bihar, and G S Shekhawat, MP from Rajasthan, are doing the rounds for includion in the Union Council of Ministers.
Talk of the cabinet expansion gained currency after Parrikar arrived here during the day cancelling a Goa cabinet meeting and straight going into a meeting with Shah. Later in the night, he followed it up with a meeting with Modi with whom he shares a good rapport.
In all his brief interactions with media on two-three occasions, the chief minister did not deny suggestions that he was being tipped to be the defence minister.
“I can comment on it only after meeting the Prime Minister. Let the Prime Minister who has invited me comment,” he said when asked about the media speculation after his meeting with Shah.
However, after his meeting with Modi he told reporters that they only discussed Goa issues and there was no talk on his induction in the Union Cabinet.
“I have not discussed nor has he discussed anything about that. So, as of now the issue is dead. The news is dead,” he said.
“I had requested for a meeting (with Modi) to discusses issues of Goa and this is what was discussed. He has accepted my demands for Goa,” he said. When asked if he would continue as chief minister, he said, “Obviously.”