The Panaji Assembly seat in Goa was always won by Manohar Parrikar since he first contested from the constituency in 1994. His death means that the BJP will have to field a new candidate from the seat, and with the Election Commission announcing the date for the Panaji bypoll, the party hopes the former chief minister’s son will enter politics and contest the election.
The EC said the bypoll will take place on May 19, with the counting on May 23.
Days after Parrikar’s death, his sons Utpal and Abhijat had issued a statement saying that they will continue to respect the “legacy” their father leaves behind, hinting that Utpal might join politics soon. Earlier too state BJP leader Vinay Tendulkar had told the press that a central BJP leader had talks with the sons to convince them to enter the political fray.
On Tuesday, Tendulkar said, “The final decision will be taken after April 23, once the committee sits and takes the next step. Till April 23, the focus is Lok Sabha and the other seats.”
The EC announcement comes a day before Narendra Modi is expected in Goa for a campaign rally, with the BJP looking at a “10,000 to 12,000” audience at an indoor stadium.
“We have managed to put 14,000 chairs inside the stadium and another 11,000 outside to ensure our Prime Minister has the maximum support,” said Tendulkar.
The Congress is yet to name their candidate. In the last Assembly polls, Congress state president Girish Chodankar had contested the seat, but this year, he is fighting the Lok Sabha polls.