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Goa: Utpal Parrikar missing in BJP’s first list of candidates; Shiv Sena, AAP offer support

While Utpal was not given a ticket of his choice, BJP’s Goa election in-charge Devendra Fadnavis maintained that he is part of the BJP family and was given two other options which he did not accept.

As soon as the news of Utpal being dropped from the first list spread, opposition leaders expressed their support for him.

The BJP’s first list of candidates released for the Goa assembly elections had no mention of Utpal Parrikar, son of former CM and veteran BJP leader Manohar Parrikar. The list released today for the 40-member assembly named 34 candidates and Utpal’s name wasn’t on it. Utpal had sought to contest the Goa elections on a BJP ticket from the Panaji seat but the ruling party went ahead with the sitting candidate from the seat – MLA Atanasio Monserrate – one of the 10 legislators, who had joined the saffron party in July 2019 after quitting the Congress. Manohar Parrikar had represented the Panaji seat for over two decades.

While Utpal was not given a ticket of his choice, BJP’s Goa election in-charge Devendra Fadnavis maintained that he is part of the BJP family and was given two other options which he did not accept. As soon as the news of Utpal being dropped from the first list spread, opposition leaders expressed their support for him. Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) convener and Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal slammed the BJP for adopting a ‘use and throw policy’ and invited Utpal to contest the election on an AAP ticket.

“Goans feel very sad that BJP has adopted a use and throw policy even with the Parrikar family. I have always respected Manohar Parrikar ji. Utpal ji is welcome to join and fight elections on AAP ticket,” said Kejriwal.

On the other hand, Shiv Sena MP Sanjay Raut said that if Utpal decided to contest the Goa polls independently, the party would support him. It may be recalled that the Shiv Sena has decided to contest some seats in Goa in alliance with the Sharad Pawar’s Nationalist Congress Party (NCP).

“It’s up to Utapal Parrikar whether to contest the Goa Assembly elections or not. His family has a huge contribution in establishing BJP in Goa. We will support him if he contests elections independently,” said Raut.

Meanwhile, according to reports, Utpal has been firm on contesting from the Panaji seat. It will be interesting to see whether he agrees with the BJP’s proposal or decides to join any other party or contests the poll independently.

Elections for the 40-member Goa Assembly will be held in a single phase on February 14. The entry of the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) and the Trinamool Congress (TMC) is expected to turn the electoral battle multi-cornered this time.

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