BJP leader Narendra Modi's endorsement of Goa Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar's governance abilities, calling him worthy of becoming union finance minister, is a matter of pride, his deputy in the state cabinet said Wednesday.
Deputy Chief Minister Francis D'Souza, however, stopped short of saying whether Parrikar should be elevated to the central ministry in case the Modi-led Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) comes to power after the Lok Sabha election.
"When Modi at the Jan 12 Vijay Sankalp rally in Goa said Parrikar was worthy of being union finance minister, it was a matter of pride for me," D'Souza told media persons.
When asked if Parrikar should be appointed to the central cabinet should the BJP come to power, D'Souza did not give a clear answer. "I am not saying he should be sent to Delhi," he said.
There is speculation about whether Parrikar would shed responsibilities as chief minister and take up a central brief in a Modi cabinet.
The Goa CM is known to be close to Modi and was the first BJP member to openly endorse the Gujarat chief minister as the party's prime ministerial candidate for the Lok Sabha polls.
For the record, Parrikar has denied national ambitions, but has also added a rider saying he would abide by any diktat issued by the party.