Late Manohar Parrikar’s son Utpal Parrikar today announced that he was resigning from the BJP and would contest in the upcoming Goa assembly election as an independent candidate. This comes after days of parleys for the Panaji constituency, which was represented by former Goa chief minister Manohar Parrikar until 2019, the seat that his son insisted on but the BJP denied him in favour of the sitting MLA.
Previously today, Utpal Parrikar had said he would announce his decision at a press conference amid speculations of his contesting without any party from Panaji. Until his announcement, the BJP kept claiming that the party was talking to Parrikar and that they offered him some alternative assembly seats.
“I was left with no other choice. I have resigned from the party and I would be contesting as an independent from Panaji,” Utpal Parrikar said adding that BJP will always remain in his heart. “It is a difficult choice for me, I am doing it for the people of Goa. No one should be worried about my political future, people of Goa will do it,” he said.
“I am fighting for the values I believe in. Let the people of Panaji decide. I cannot negotiate with my party,” Utpal Parrikar said.
Yesterday, the BJP released its first list of 34 candidates for Goa and fielded incumbent MLA Atanasio Monserrate from Panaji. Devendra Fadnavis said it is not fair to replace the sitting MLA, who won the by-election after Manohar Parrikar’s death in 2019. The seat was with Parrikar for almost 25 years.
“For our party, the Parrikar family is always our family. But from the seat that Utpal Parrikar wanted to contest from we already have a sitting MLA and it would not be fair to drop the sitting MLA. However, we had given him the option of contesting from two other seats and the talks are progressing in that direction,” Fadnavis said.
Soon after BJP’s snub, Aam Aadmi Party chief Arvind Kejriwal extended an offer to Parrikar, after Shiv Sena MP Sanjay Raut said the non-BJP parties should support Parrikar if he contests in the election as an independent. “If we support Utpal, we will also take an assurance from him that he would not support the BJP if it is voted to power,” Raut said.