The BJP on Thursday released its final list for the upcoming Goa elections and what immediately drew everyone’s attention was the omission of Utpal Parrikar, son of late chief minister and defence minister Manohar Parrikar, from Panjim seat.
Utpal had recently questioned the BJP’s ticket distribution process in the coastal state after the leadership indicated that the party ticket for the Panaji constituency would be given to Atanasio ‘Babush’ Monserrate. “Will the party give ticket to the person with criminal antecedents in the constituency represented by late Manohar Parrikar?” he asked, apparently referring to Monserratte.
On January 16, Goa Chief Minister Pramod Sawant said the BJP’s central leadership was in contact with Utpal Parrikar and the issue would be resolved soon. He added that the top brass knew about Utpal Parrikar’s intention to contest elections from his father’s constituency.
“Utpal wishes to contest from Panjim Assembly constituency and our central leadership is fully aware about it. They are in touch with Utpal and they will find a solution,” he said.
However, the “outreach” received a setback when Devendra Fadnavis, the former chief minister of Maharashtra and BJP’s Goa in-charge for the assembly polls, said being Manohar Parrikar’s son is not sufficient to earn a ticket from the BJP.
Interestingly, Utpal found support from the AAP and Sanjay Raut of the Shiv Sena. While Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal invited him to join the Aam Aadmi Party, Raut urged non-BJP parties to support Utpal’s bid for the polls. “If #UtpalParrikar contests Independent from Panaji seat, I propose all non-BJP parties including @AamAadmiParty @INCIndia @AITCofficial @Goaforwardparty shd support his candidature & not field a candidate against him. This will be a true tribute to ManoharBhai!” tweeted Raut.
Reacting to Utpal’s omission, the BJP said Utpal had been given two options. “One has been rejected by him and talks are still on for another seat.”