Tried to dodge elevation to NDA cabinet: Parrikar

Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar had tried to dodge Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s offer to elevate him to the union cabinet, he has said, adding that it took him a couple of weeks to take a call on it.

“On October 26, I had gone to meet Modi to discuss the Goa mining issue and provide some financial help for the state. He said we will do all that, but he also asked me ‘why don’t you join the central cabinet?’. It was like a bomb dropped on me,” Parrikar said late on Tuesday.

The former chief minister made the statement in Panaji while speaking at the 60th birthday celebration of Goa Chief Minister Laxmikant Parsekar.

“I said I will think about it and slipped away. I had decided that I will not come back (to Delhi) for another two to three months. A reminder was sent to me again in four-five days,” he said.

“And finally it was decided on November 6 and on November 8 I submitted my resignation,” said Parrikar, about his journey to the position of the defence minister.

Parrikar was elevated as defence minister in November 2014, a few months after Modi took over as the prime minister in National Democratic Alliance government.

Parrikar was replaced as the chief minister of Goa by Laxmikant Parsekar.

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