Amidst speculations of his return to Goa if BJP is voted to power, Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar today said chief minister should be "young at heart", even if he is slightly "an elder person".
"Though there is a requirement of youth to be the chief minister, I feel that the chief minister can be slightly elder person who can understand the aspirations of youth," Parrikar said at the party's youth convention in Panaji, along with BJP's candidate in the seat Siddharth Kuncolienkar.
"Chief Minister, whoever he is, has to be young at heart," the former Goa CM said, responding to a query by a young voter.
Goa will go to polls on February 4 to elect the 40-member House.
Senior BJP leader and Union Minister Nitin Gadkari had recently said after elections in Goa, the MLAs would choose their leader, but with a rider that the choice for the top slot could either be from among them or can be sent from the centre.
BJP president Amit Shah, at a rally yesterday, said the next government would function under the leadership of Parrikar, further fuelling speculation on possible return of Parrikar at the helm of affairs in the state, in the event of his party securing a fresh mandate.
Parrikar said political stability was essential for the development in a state like Goa, which had been witness to rise and fall of ministries through the 1990s.
"I remember, in 1989 I never thought that I was destined to be in politics. But due to certain circumstances, I was pushed into politics. In those 10 years, I saw at least 12 Chief Ministers," he said.
"If you want to have comprehensive development of Goa, the plan needs to be worked out. But during that time (when I joined politics), there was no plan. Entire ten years went only to change the chief ministers," he said.
"After every 10 years there was political instability. The MLAs used to get huddled in a camp and for eight to ten days they were out of contact from the world trying to work out a new political equation," he said.
On the issue of reservation, Parrikar said he feels there is a need for the policy to continue.
"Though the situation in Goa is different, the social condition of SC and ST people across the country is not good...It is improving," Parrikar said to a question.
"I admit there is some misuse of reservation. But I feel we need to work out a mechanism to bring up those who are downtrodden into the social structure," he said.--PTI