New Delhi, January 20
The BJP on Thursday fielded Atanasio Monserrate ‘Babush’ from Panaji, the constituency of late Manohar Parrikar from where his son Utpal Parrikar was seeking the ticket.
“Utpal Parrikar was given two other options,” one of which he refused, former Maharashtra CM Devendra Fadnavis said announcing the list.
“He should take the other option, this is my opinion,” he said, adding that Parrikar’s family is BJP’s family and the party had all respect for the late leader.
A sitting MLA has been given the ticket.
Monserrate is a three-term member of the Goa Legislative Assembly. He was one of the 10 members of the Congress who joined the BJP in July 2019.
The list also includes his wife Jennifer from Teleigao in the list of 34 candidates for the 40-member Goa Assembly election scheduled for February 14.
Fadnavis defended her candidature saying she was a sitting MLA and had joined the BJP along with her husband, a reason why the BJP had also fielded her.
The BJP has also fielded Divya Vishwajeet Rane, daughter-in-law of sitting Congress MLA Pratap Singh Rane, from Poreim.
Announcing the list, Fadnavis slammed the MGP, GFP, TMC, AAP and Congress, the party’s rivals in the coming elections for “making false promises”.
Praising former CM Parrikar for providing direction to the BJP in Goa, he pointed to the various infrastructure and health initiatives taken by the “double engine” party government.
In 2017, Sidharth Sripad Kuncalienkerm had defeated Monserrate. Manohar Parrikar was the defence minister in the Centre at that time.
Meanwhile, Chief Minister Pramod Sawant has been fielded from Sanquelim, the constituency he represents in the Assembly. Sawant took over the reins of the state after the demise of Manohar Parrikar.
In the previous Assembly polls in 2017, the BJP, despite being the ruling party, had won only 13 seats, with the Congress emerging as the single largest party with 17 seats.
The BJP, however, managed to cobble up a coalition with regional parties like the Maharashtrawadi Gomantak Party (MGP), Goa Forward Party (GFP) and two independents, with Parrikar playing the key role.
In 2019, the BJP ousted alliance partners from the government when 10 Congress MLAs defected to its camp.
The MGP and the GFP have now forged new alliances for the upcoming polls, with the MGP tying up with new entrant Mamata Banerjee-led Trinamool Congress (TMC), while the GFP has allied with the Congress, which also seems to be looking to find the support of the NCP and the Shiv Sena.
The BJP has fielded three ST candidates and one ST candidate on general seats. There are 11 OBC candidates, nine Christians, said general secretary Arun Singh, praising Prime Minister Narendra Modi for his “pro-OBC, Dalit policies”.
Kejriwal offers Parrikar’s son to contest from AAP
Reacting to the development, AAP’s Arvind Kejriwal said, “Goans feel very sad that the BJP has adopted the 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 an AAP ticket.”
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