Shiv Sena leader Sanjay Raut today said that the fight in the Panaji seat will be between dishonesty and character. Raut’s remark came after Utpal Parrikar, son of late former Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar, yesterday quit the BJP while announcing to contest from the seat as an independent candidate.
The Shiv Sena MP, however, set another condition to back Utpal. Raut said that the Sena-NCP alliance will back Utpal Parrikar if he promises not to support the BJP after election results are announced. Before Utpal’s resignation, Raut had said that his party will back him if he contests from the Panaji seat as an independent candidate.
Utpal has resigned from the Goa BJP yesterday after the party denied him a ticket from the Panaji seat. While the BJP had claimed to offer him two other alternatives, Utpal was firm on contesting from the seat which his father represented for 25 years. The BJP has fielded sitting MLA Atanasio Monserrate ‘Babush’ from the seat. Babush is one of those legislators who had defected from the Congress to join the BJP.
After resigning from the party, Utpal claimed that he tried to convince the BJP leadership that he enjoys the support of the local party leaders as well as of the public. However, he was not given a ticket.
Raut had also urged non-BJP parties to support Utpal’s candidature by not fielding their candidates against him. In Goa, opposition parties include Congress, Goa Forward Party, Aam Aadmi Party, TMC, and Maharashtrawadi Gomantak Party.
Not only the Shiv Sena but Aam Aadmi Party had also backed Utpal. Delhi CM and AAP convener Arvind Kejriwal had invited him to contest the poll on an AAP ticket.
Voting for the Goa assembly polls will take place on February 14. The counting of votes will be held on March 10.