Goa polls: Utpal Parrikar not in BJP’s list of 34 candidates; party says he was given options that he didn’t accept

04:21 PM Jan 20, 2022 | PTI |

Panaji: The name of Utpal Parrikar, son of former Goa chief minister late Manohar Parrikar, did not figure in the BJP’s list of 34 candidates that it announced on Thursday for the upcoming state assembly polls, although he had sought party’s candidature from the Panaji constituency. The party said that although Utpal Parrikar was given four other options, he did not accept any of them. Of the 34 nominees of the BJP, 16 are those who are currently not part of the ruling party’s legislative wing.


The BJP announced the list of candidates in Delhi for the February 14 Goa assembly elections, as per which Chief Minister Pramod Sawant will again be the party’s candidate from Sanquelim constituency. While refusing to give a ticket to Utpal Parrikar from the Panaji constituency, which his father had represented for over two decades, the BJP nominated from that seat party’s sitting MLA Atanasio Monserrate, one of the 10 legislators, who had joined the saffron party in July 2019 after quitting the Congress. BJP’s Goa election in-charge Devendra Fadnavis said that Utpal Parrikar is part of the BJP family and was given four other options (other than Panaji seat), which he did not accept. Fadnavis, however, did not specify the options.

Sitting Goa ministers Deepak Pauskar (Sanvordem) and Philip Neri Rodrigues (Velim) and MLA Isidore Fernandes (Canacona) also did not figure in the list of candidates. Pauskar was caught in a controversy after Monserratte accused him of selling out jobs in his Public Works Department (PWD).

The party has withheld the names of candidates for six assembly constituencies – Cumbharjua, Bicholim, Curtorim, St Cruz, Calangute and Cortalim.

Interestingly, Monserrate and his wife Jeniffer, who is IT Minister in the Pramod Sawant-led cabinet at present, and Vishwajit Rane, who is Health Minister, and his wife Divya Rane, a new face, are the two husband-wife duos who have been nominated by the party. They are the only two women candidates, which figure in the first list of the party.


Deputy Chief Minister Manohar Ajgaonkar, who was elected from Pernem assembly segment in 2017 on the Maharashtrawadi Gomantak Party (MGP) ticket before shifting to the BJP in July 2019 has been given ticket from Margao constituency.

Ajgaonkar would be pitted against Congress’ Digambar Kamat, who is currently the leader of Opposition.

Elections for the 40-member Goa Assembly will be held in single phase on February 14.

With the entry of the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) and the Trinamool Congress (TMC) in the poll arena, the election is expected to be a multi-cornered one this time.


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