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Arun Jaitley Gets Additional Charge of Defence as Parrikar Heads to Goa

Finance Minister Arun Jaitley was given the additional charge of Defence portfolio after Manohar Parrikar resigned from the Union Cabinet a day before taking oath as Goa CM.

Tushar Dhara |

Updated:March 13, 2017, 4:07 PM IST
Arun Jaitley Gets Additional Charge of Defence as Parrikar Heads to Goa
File photo of Finance Minister Arun Jaitley. (PTI)

New Delhi: Finance Minister Arun Jaitley has been given charge of the Defence Ministry in addition to his Finance portfolio, to fill in for Manohar Parrikar who resigned as the Defence Minister in order to become the Chief Minister of the BJP government in Goa.

A press communiqué from Rashtrapati Bhawan read “As advised by the Prime Minister, the President has directed that Shri Arun Jaitley, cabinet minister, shall be assigned the charge of the Ministry of Defence, in addition to his existing portfolios.”

Arun Jaitley was in charge of the Defence and Finance Ministries for the first three months after the NDA government took charge in 2014.

Goa Governor Mridula Sinha has invited Parrikar to form the next government in the coastal state after he submitted a letter of support from 21 legislators on Sunday. Although the Congress was the single largest party in Goa with 17 seats in the 40-member legislative Assembly, the smaller parties have said they will not support the party to get it over the halfway mark of 21.

Senior Congress leader P. Chidambaram on Monday accused the BJP of "stealing" the elections in Goa and Manipur, saying a party which comes second has "no right" to form the government.

Another Congress leader, Digvijay Singh, said it was the victory of money power over people's power.

The Maharashtravadi Gomantak Party (MGP) and the Goa Forward Party (GFP), with three MLAs each, on Sunday, threw their support behind the BJP. Sudhin Dhavlikar, the leader of the MGP, even went as far as to say their support to the BJP was for the “development of Goa”.

The BJP, which had formed the government in 2012, faced severe losses this year. Six of the eight cabinet ministers, including outgoing Chief Minister Laxminkant Parsekar, lost their own seats in the election.

The BJP got 13 seats, four less than the Congress, while the Maharashtrawadi Gomantak Party got 3 seats, and the Goa Forward Party got 3 seats. There are three independents while the Nationalist Congress Party got 1 seat.

| Edited by: Nitya Thirumalai
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