Panaji, November 8, 2014 ( IANS) A day ahead of being sworn in as union minister, possibly in charge of the defence ministry, Goa Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar Saturday resigned from office. Parrikar faxed his resignation to Governor Mridula Sinha. His successor is expected to be appointed at 4 p.m.

The name of Parrikar's successor is still not clear though even as Deputy Chief Minister Francis D'Souza has openly refused to work under Health Minister Laxmikant Parsekar and Speaker Rajendra Arlekar, both of whom are top contenders for the post because they were "junior" to him. "I am still in the race for CM," D'Souza said Saturday morning, claiming support of a dozen legislators. D'Souza has refused to be part of the cabinet if he has to work under Parsekar or Arlekar.

Earlier, Parrikar met Goa Archbishop Filipe Neri Ferrao and explained to him the reason for his departure from state politics.  Parrikar, during his third tenure as chief minister from 2012, had a good relationship with the influential Roman Catholic Church in Goa which subtly backed the Bharatiya Janata Party during the last assembly polls.Parrikar Friday told reporters that he had been formally invited by Prime Minister Narendra Modi to join his central cabinet and he had decided to accept the offer as a matter of "national interest" although he also said that he was extremely attached to Goa.

The outgoing Goa chief minister will be sworn in as union minister Sunday and is likely to be offered the defence portfolio. On Monday, he is expected to fly to Lucknow where he will file his nomination papers to book a passage to parliament through the Rajya Sabha
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