Utpal Parrikar quits BJP to contest election Panaji as independent candidate
As Goa is set to go for the Assembly Elections on February 14, former Goa chief minister Manohar Parrikar’s son, Utpal Parrikar announced that he will contest the Goa Assembly Election 2020 as an independent candidate.
Utpal also announced that he is resigning from the BJP. Utpal was eyeing the Panaji seat but the BJP denied him in favor of the sitting MLA. The BJP had offered Utpal four other options (except for Panaji) to contest the polls, which he rejected.
BJP released its first list of 34 candidates for Goa and fielded incumbent MLA Atanasio Monserrate from Panaji. Goa in-charge, and former Maharashtra CM Devendra Fadnavis said it is not fair to replace the sitting MLA, who won the bypoll after Manohar Parrikar’s death in 2019. The seat was with Manohar Parrikar for almost 25 years.
Fadnavis said, “For our party, the Parrikar family is always our family. But from the seat that Utpal wanted to contest from we already have a sitting MLA and it would not be fair to drop the sitting MLA. However, we had given him the option of contesting from two other seats and the talks are progressing in that direction.”
Goa Chief Minister Pramod Sawant on Friday announced the candidature of Assembly Speaker Rajesh Patnekar as the party’s candidate for the Bicholim Assembly seat.
“Patnekar will not just win the Bicholim seat, he will also be a Cabinet minister in the next government,” Sawant told reporters after the party nominated Patnekar for the seat.
Utpal Parrikar had rejected the BJP’s formal offer, saying he would contest as an Independent candidate from Panaji.
Meanwhile, the Shiv Sena and the Aam Admi Party offered to support Utpal if he contests as an independent candidate.
[With Inputs from IANS]
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