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Tuesday, September 28, 2021

Tito’s co-owner throws hat in election ring; says wants to contest for BJP

If the BJP denied him a ticket to contest the election slated early next year, Ricardo D'souza said he would contest independently. If he won, he said he would extend support to the BJP.

By: Express News Service | Panaji |
Updated: July 28, 2021 8:56:01 am
Ricardo D’Souza in New Delhi (Facebook/Ricardo D’Souza)

A month after Ricardo D’souza, the co-owner of Tito’s, among the most prominent nightclubs in Goa since 1971, posted on social media that they had sold their business on account of harassment by “officials”, he said on Tuesday that he wanted to contest the upcoming legislative Assembly elections from the Calangute constituency in North Goa, currently held by Goa ports minister Micheal Lobo. His poll pitch for the assembly constituency in Goa’s coastal belt was an apartment for every family.

D’souza said he had visited the BJP headquarters in Delhi five days ago and met “most of the top leaders” of the party. He said he got a “lot of signals” from the party.

Last month, D’souza, the co-owner of the popular nightclub in the tourist belt of Baga-Calangute, said he decided to sell his businesses owing to harassment by local authorities, but thanked bureaucrats and Chief Minister Pramod Sawant.

“The biggest irritation of mine is corruption. A builder from Delhi comes, he bribes MLAs, panch members, NGOs. Poor guy! He is also a target. Rather than giving this money to politicians and officials, I would rather give one free apartment to one family each in Calangute,” D’souza told a news channel.

If the BJP denied him a ticket to contest the election slated early next year, he said he would contest independently. If he won, he said he would extend support to the BJP.

While he was unequivocal about his support to the BJP, he said the allegations of corruption he had made against local authorities in a BJP-ruled state were not conflicting. “Within any system, there are elements that are not conducive to the system. We in the BJP know there are such elements, but we are always trying to make things better,” D’souza said.

He said he had sold 65 per cent of his business in Goa and he would eventually have to join his family that lives abroad. “I want to change Goa before I leave,” he said.

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