As the ruling BJP is eyeing to field former Congress MLA Dayanand Sopte for the upcoming Mandrem Assembly bypoll in Goa, former state Chief Minister and BJP leader Laxmikant Parsekar Tuesday indicated that he might rebel against his party. Sopte and another Congress MLA recently resigned as members of the Goa Legislative Assembly and joined the BJP, dealing a blow to the opposition party in the state.
Now, as the Congress started consolidating anti-BJP forces ahead of the upcoming bypoll in Mandrem Assembly, Parsekar said the BJP should stop taking him for granted. His statement comes two days after Goa Pradesh Congress Committee (GPCC) chief Girish Chodankar met him at Mandrem, which the former had represented in the state assembly till 2017.
Parsekar had lost to Sopte from Mandrem constituency in north Goa in the February 2017 Assembly polls. Earlier, Parsekar had criticised BJP’s Goa unit chief Vinay Tendulkar for not taking him into confidence while inducting Sopte.
“I will not reveal all my cards now. There is a feeling in BJP that I will never rebel against the party or I will never leave it (party). Sometimes, your virtues act as negatives and that has happened in my case. But this time, the party should not take me for granted,” Parsekar said. Although he confirmed that Chodankar had met him, Parsekar refused to elaborate about the meeting.
“These days there are many people who come and meet me. Chodankar had also come. There were some discussions,” he said. Parsekar said the Mandrem block of the BJP still considers him (Parsekar) as the candidate from the constituency.
“Let the elections be announced. Let the candidates be announced…then I will reveal my stand,” he said. When contacted, Chodankar said the Congress has been meeting all the “anti-BJP forces”.
“We are rallying against Sopte, who is the probable BJP candidate in the constituency. We will defeat him in the constituency and our exercise in that direction has begun,” he said. Chodankar also refused to divulge the details of the meeting with Parsekar, but said “everyone will come together to defeat the BJP candidate”.
Parsekar, who was the chief minister of Goa between 2014 and 2017, is one of the oldest members of the BJP. He had joined the party in 1994.