Goa Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar, who is tipped to become the Union defence minister, on Saturday tendered his resignation from the post paving way for the appointment of his successor in the state.
Parrikar faxed his resignation to State Governor Mridula Sinha at Raj Bhavan this afternoon, after meeting the Archbishop.
The two-paragraph resignation letter was faxed from his official residence at Altinho.
After resigning, Parrikar left the party headquarters to attend a meeting of office bearers and legislators who will finalise the name of his successor.
"The swearing-in of the new CM would be held at 4 pm," Parrikar told PTI minutes before faxing his resignation. With the resignation of Parrikar, entire state cabinet comprising 12 ministers, two of which were from Maharashtrawadi Gomantak Party, was dissolved.
Three names are doing the rounds for the new chief minister's post- health minister Laxmikant Parsekar, Deputy Chief Minister Francis D'Souza and Speaker Rajendra Arlekar.
However, sources in the BJP say Parsekar is the frontrunner. His name has been favoured by the party leadership, the sources said.
But race for the top post in the coastal state has created a rift in the government with D'Souza saying he would quit if not made the chief minister.
The fresh cabinet would be sworn-in along with the new chief minister.
"It was difficult for me to leave the state but nation is bigger than the state," Parrikar had told reporters on Friday evening after chairing his last state cabinet meeting.
The 58-year-old leader was sworn in on March 2012 after he rode the party to a historical win in the state legislative assembly polls.
The party managed to win on 21 seats out of 40 emerging as the single largest legislative unit.
Parrikar made headlines after he slashed the petrol prices in the state by almost Rs 11 by excluding Value Added Tax imposed on it.
The Bombay-IIT alumni also launched two major schemes 'Grih Adhar' providing monthly income to housewives and 'Ladli Lakshmi' offering financial help of Rs one lakh for the marriage of a girl child.
The CM, who had inked controversial public accounts committee report on illegal mining had to face wrath after the Supreme Court imposed a ban on iron ore extraction industry in the state, pointing out to the illegalities in the trade.
Parrikar saw the state finances plummeting by almost 40 per cent due to closure of mining industry and also introduction of new social welfare schemes.
Before being invited by Prime Minister Narendra Modi to join the Union Cabinet, Parrikar had embarked upon an exercise to review performance of his ministers.