Panaji: Technocrat-turned-politician Manohar Parrikar is all set to become chief minister of Goa for the third time after the BJP-MGP combine lapped up 24 seats to rule the 40-member House.

Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) legislative wing on Wednesday unanimously elected Parrikar as its leader, the decision also backed by its alliance partner Maharashtrawadi Gomantak Party (MGP).

The combine which won 24 seats---BJP (21) and MGP (3)--will now stake claim to form the government before Goa Governor K Sankarnarayanan.

The ruling Congress was relegated to 9 while its alliance partner NCP drew a blank in the March 3 Assembly polls, counting for which was held on Tuesday.

The BJP-MGP alliance has claimed to have support of 26 legislators, including two independents – Benjamin Silva (Velim) and Avertano Furtado (Navelim).

Senior BJP leaders Venkaiah Naidu and Ravi Shankar Prasad are overseeing the process of government formation.

BJP legislature wing which met at a city hotel here first time since the results were out passed a joint resolution electing Parrikar as their leader.

"The decision was unanimous. Parrikar's name was suggested and everyone accepted it," a senior BJP leader said.

Parrikar got the first taste of power in the state in 2000 when he was elected the Chief Minister, becoming the first IITian to head a state government. However, the stint was shortlived in the state known for its fragile politics and he had to demit office in early 2002.

Parrikar returned to power a few months later but had to quit in 2005 after a few MLAs withdrew support to him.

The state was put under President's Rule after his exit in March 2005.