FPK Web Desk
New Delhi: As Manohar Parrikar staked claim to be the next Chief Minister of Goa, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley was handed the additional charge as the Defence Minister of India.
Rashtrapati Bhavan said President Pranab Mukherjee had accepted Parrikar’s resignation with immediate effect.
“Further 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,” a statement from Mukherjee’s office said.
Jaitley started his journey in the Modi Government with charge for the two ministries, finance and defence. He relinquished the defence ministry in November 2014 when PM Modi brought in Parrikar from Goa to continue attempts to get the procurement process – halted during the previous UPA’s tenure – back on track.
However, Goa Chief Minister Laxmikant Parsekar – who had replaced Parrikar in 2014 – was not a patch on his predecessor. The BJP not only ended up with just 13 seats in the 40-seat assembly in the just-concluded elections but Parsekar could not win a seat for himself even after contesting from separate seats.