Goa Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar will contest by-election from Panaji, state BJP president Vinay Tendulkar announced on Wednesday. Panaji has been Parrikar’s stronghold for decades and he represented the constituency in the state Assembly until 2014 when he was named the defence minister.
“The party has decided Parrikar ji should contest from Panaji. Accordingly, sitting Panaji MLA Sidharth Kunkolienkar has voluntarily decided to step down,” said Tendulkar. Parrikar was first elected as a legislator from Panaji in 1994.
It was earlier speculated that BJP legislator Nilesh Cabral will vacate Curchorem assembly seat in South Goa for Parrikar. The seat is considered safe for the BJP.
Along with Parrikar, Vishwajit Rane, who joined BJP after quitting Congress, has to look for a seat to get elected to the Assembly, where the Congress has 16 lawmakers, BJP 13, Maharashtrawadi Gomantak Party, Goa Forward and Independents three each and Nationalist Congress Party one.