Goa's ruling BJP on Friday condemned alliance partner MGP's demand to replace Laxmikant Parsekar as Chief Minister, ahead of the upcoming assembly elections, adding that the party would not change its leadership "under any condition".Addressing a press conference, Bharatiya Janata Party's Goa unit spokesperson Nilesh Cabral said that the comments made by Maharashtrawadi Gomantak Party president and cabinet minister Deepak Dhavalikar, were not mature and that the decision on the alliance between both parties would be eventually taken by BJP Union minsters Manohar Parrikar and Nitin Gadkari and state Public Works Department minister Sudin Dhavalikar, one of the seniormost leaders of the regional party.
"We condemn the statement made by (Deepak) Dhavalikar on Thursday. It is unfortunate. We are clear the BJP reserves the right to elect its own legislative party leader. There will be no leadership change, just because they demand it, under any condition. We have 21 MLAs and they have three, so we are clearly the senior partner in the alliance," he said.
Cabral also said that there was no question of seeking an apology from Dhavalikar for his demand, claiming the numerically stronger BJP is like an "elder brother" in the alliance.On Thursday, after a meeting of the party's central committee Deepak Dhavalikar had said: "The chief ministership of Parsekar has been imposed on us. We call on the BJP to change him as chief minister and a new chief minister should be sworn in if this alliance is to be taken forward."Political wrangling between alliance partners, the MGP and the BJP has increased, especially ahead of the assembly elections likely to be held early next year.While the BJP has a simple majority of 21 seats in the state assembly, the MGP has three MLAs, two of whom are cabinet ministers. MGP was also a member of the ruling Congress-led alliance from 2007-2012.Cabral also said, that the BJP preferred to engage with the "more mature" Sudin Dhavalikar over Deepak.