Putting all speculations to an end, the BJP on Sunday denied ticket to the son of former Goa chief minister Manohar Parrikar, Utpal Parrikar, by announcing the candidature of former MLA Siddharth Kunkolienkar for the Panaji Assembly bypoll scheduled for May 19.
The bypoll was necessitated following the death of Parrikar, the sitting MLA, on March 17.
BJP’s Central Election Committee secretary Jagat Prakash Nadda announced the candidature of Kunkolienkar on Sunday afternoon through a statement on the party website.
Reacting to the development, Utpal told news agency PTI, “…There is no need to be disheartened. I will learn from this. I will work the way party wants me to. Whatever they tell me to do, I will do for retaining this prestigious seat. It is my father’s constituency, and for 25 years people of Panaji have blessed him, and hopefully we will be able to retain it,”
Utpal later told reporters that his father never wanted him to join politics. “Bhai (Parrikar) did not want me to come into politics. This cannot be termed as family raj. Now my father is not there. I am an independent person. I have my independent identity,” he said.
“It is said that whenever you want to join politics to cleanse the system, the hurdles are bound to come in the way. Even my father had faced the obstacles,” he added.
Responding to a query, Utpal said there was an impasse over the ticket for the constituency, which was resolved after the intervention of Chief Minister Pramod Sawant.
Kunkolienkar had won the seat in the 2017 Assembly elections before vacating it on May 10 that year to pave the way for Parrikar to contest and enter the 40-member Goa Legislative Assembly. Then Union defence minister, Parrikar was brought back to the state after the saffron party fell short of a simple majority and was forced to ally with parties like Goa Forward Party and Maharashtrawadi Gomantak Party, as well as Independents.
(With PTI inputs)
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