Panaji: After the demise of Manohar Parrikar, question remains on who will be the next chief minister of Goa. The BJP-led alliance in Goa has not yet arrived at a consensus over the next chief minister. 

Parrikar died at the age of 63 on Sunday evening at his residence after battling a pancreatic ailment for over a year.

Swooping at an opportunity, the Congress formally stakes its claim with Governor Mridula Sinha to form the government in Goa. 

The Congress wrote a letter stating that the coalitition allies had aligned with the BJP in 2017 only on the condition that it should be led by Manohar Parrikar. The Congress now claims that in view of Parrikar's death, BJP has no allies.

"Being the single largest party, it is submitted that the leader of the Congress is entitled to be invited to form the next government. We, therefore, once again stake our claim to form the government and request ‘Your Excellency’ to extend the invitation to our leader to form the next government," the letter stated.

Union minister and senior BJP leader Nitin Gadkari arrived in Goa during the early hours of the day. Party MLA Michael Lobo said that they could not secure a consensus between the BJP and its alliance partners in the state.

While Gadkari was not available for comments, BJP MLA Lobo said Maharashtrawadi Gomantak Party (MGP) MLA Sudin Dhavalikar wanted to be the chief minister due to which the discussions came to a halt.

"Sudin Dhavalikar wants to be the chief minister, while the BJP insists that the leader of the alliance should be from their camp. We could not  arrive at a decision," Lobo told reporters outside a hotel after a night-long meeting.

He said a solution to the crisis is expected to be found later in the day. Lobo also went on to say that BJP MLAs have suggested the names of Vishwajit Rane and Pramod Sawant for the post.

Earlier, Goa Forward Party (GFP) chief Vijai Sardesai emerged from the meeting and said that the parties were yet to reach a conclusion.

Sardesai said, “The meeting was inconclusive and the BJP has informed them that they will get back later during the day." 

He said the parties expressed apprehensions on how to proceed in the absence of Parrikar. "We are expecting them to respond to our apprehensions soon," he added.

The GFP leader, however, said the party had not yet shut its doors on the BJP.

Sardesai was accompanied by his MLAs, Jayesh Salgaonkar and Vinod Palyekar, and Independents Rohan Khaunte, Govind Gawade and Prasad Gaonkar.

Meanwhile, speaking to reporters, Dhavalikar said that Gadkari held one-on-one meetings with the MLAs and asked them certain questions.

"I can't disclose about the questions as they are confidential. We are expecting Gadkari to announce the name of the chief ministerial candidate in the next one hour. The MGP will take proper resolution supporting the government after that," he said.

The MGP MLA added that Gadkari had heard each of the MLAs individually and would soon announce a new leader.

With the demise of Parrikar, the strength of 40-member Goa Legislative Assembly has been reduced to 36. BJP MLA Francis D'Souza died last month, while two Congress members had resigned last year.