After his father and former CM Manohar Parrikar-led Goa BJP refused candidature on two occasions, Utpal Parrikar on Friday announced that he would contest the “high-risk” assembly election from Panaji as an independent. The constituency his father represented for more than two decades. He also resigned as a BJP member, but said that he “will always keep the BJP in my heart”.
A day after former CM Manohar Parrikar’s son Utpal Parrikar resigned from the primary membership of the BJP and announced his decision to contest as an independent from Panaji on February 14 in the state, Shiv Sena’s Sanjay Raut welcomed his decision.
Utpal said that despite the support of party workers and people of Panaji, he was not given a BJP ticket. The party has named its sitting MLA Atanasio ‘Babusch’ Monserrate as its candidate for this constituency. Utpal said, ‘I don’t think these decisions belong to Parrikar’s party.
Earlier, Raut had urged all non-BJP parties, including AAP, Congress, TMC and Goa Forward Party, to support Utpal’s candidature and not field candidates against him when he announced his plans to contest the polls.
Utpal wanted to contest from the Panaji seat – which Manohar Parrikar had represented for more than two decades – but the BJP turned him down and fielded the Congress party’s turncoat Atanasio Monserrate from the high-profile seat.
In his resignation letter to the BJP, Utpal said he was left with no other option and called his resignation a formality.
It is a difficult choice for me, I am doing it for the people of Goa but BJP will always be in my heart.
He also said that the saffron party had offered him constituencies other than Panaji.
“I am fighting for the values I believe in. Let the people of Panaji decide. I cannot negotiate with my party.”
Apart from Shiv Sena, AAP had also offered Utpal a ticket from their party along with AAP’s national convener and Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal.
Taking to Twitter, Kejriwal slammed the BJP and said that they have adopted a “use and throw policy” even with the Parrikar family, so the AAP offered Utpal to join and contest the elections on an AAP ticket.
Goans feel very sad that BJP has adopted the policy of use and throw even with Parrikar family. I have always respected Manohar Parrikar. Utpal is most welcome to join and contest the election on AAP ticket.”
Assembly elections will be held in Goa on February 14.
Counting of votes will take place on March 10.