Big jolt to BJP as Utpal Parrikar quits party, set to contest as Independent from Panaji

Utpal Parrikar is all set to contest upcoming assembly election as an independent candidate for Panaji constituency after he was denied BJP's candidature.
Utpal Parrikar addressing a press conference in Panaji on Friday 

Utpal Parrikar addressing a press conference in Panaji on Friday 

Gomantak Times

In a big blow to the ruling BJP, Utpal Parrikar, son of former Goa Chief Minister Late Manohar Parrikar, has decided to contest his first-ever assembly election from Panaji as an independent candidate a day after he was refused a ticket by BJP. Utpal has also resigned from BJP

The Junior Parrikar made the formal announcement at the press conference in Panaji on Friday.

"My father was elected from Panaji constituency for more than two decades. This was possible because he enjoyed the love and affection from the people of Panaji. All these years, he has developed an immense bond with the people of Panjim which even I have developed. They voted and supported him because he stood for some value. The time has come for me to stand for those values," he said.

He said he enjoys the support of the party workers as well the people of Panaji.

"I tried my best even during the last election and this election to convince my party that I enjoyed the support of workers, who toiled with my father for 30 years to build the party in Panaji. I also enjoy the support of the general people of Panaji, in spite of this I am not able to get the candidature of the Panaji constituency. It has been given to someone who has opportunistically come to party two years back. I have no choice but to stand for the values and let the people of Panaji decide my political fate.

Taking a dig at Atanasio Monserrate, who has been given BJP's ticket from Panaji, without naming him, Utpal said, "The chief minister himself has told the people his track record during the byelection. I have made it clear I am fighting for the people of Goa."

Utpal Parrikar, an engineering graduate, had been prepping for a Panaji contest for long time. He had been touring the constituency over the past few months, reaching out to voters.

BJP central leadership had tried to persuade Junior Parrikar not to leave the party and had also offered him to contest from Bicholim. Union minister Amit Shah had also met Utpal to resolve any issue that he might have but he declined.

On Thursday, the BJP’s Goa election in-charge and ex-Maharashtra CM Devendra Fadnavis said that the party has offered him another seat.

“We have given the (Panaji) ticket to the sitting MLA. Utpal Parrikar and Parrikarji’s family is our family. They are very close to us. We gave Utpal Parrikar two more options from where he can contest. He already refused one and discussions about the other are going on with him. We all feel he should agree. The Parrikar family will always be respected by the BJP,” he said.

BJP on Thursday released its first list of 34 candidates to be fielded in the upcoming Goa assembly polls.

<div class="paragraphs"><p>Utpal Parrikar addressing a press conference in Panaji on Friday&nbsp;</p></div>
BJP denies ticket to Utpal Parrikar, fields sitting MLA Atanasio Monserrate from Panaji

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