Parrikar’s son not in BJP first list in Goa

Goa 19/03/2019: New Goa Chief Ministetr Dr Pramod Sawant at his office after taking charge on Tuesday. Photo: Atish Pomburfekar

Goa 19/03/2019: New Goa Chief Ministetr Dr Pramod Sawant at his office after taking charge on Tuesday. Photo: Atish Pomburfekar

The BJP parliamentary board on Thursday announced its first list of 34 candidates for the coming Goa Assembly elections.

The party has denied the late Goa Chief Minister Mahohar Parrikar’s son, Utpal Parrikar, a ticket from Panaji, deciding instead to stick with incumbent MLA Atanasio ‘Babush’ Monserrate.

Barring a gap of two years, the seat had been held by Manohar Parrikar from 1994 till his untimely demise in March 2019.

“We have given Utpal two other options to contest, one of which he has already refused earlier. All of us feel that he should accept the second option,” BJP’s Goa election in charge Devendra Fadnavis said in Delhi. He asserted that the BJP “has always respected Manohar Parrikar’s family.”

Mr. Utpal has been particularly piqued that the party leadership preferred Mr. Monserrate – a three-time MLA and former Minister with criminal antecedents. Mr. Monserrate, an ex-Congressman, was one of the key players who had engineered the defection of 10 Congress MLAs into the BJP in July 2019.

In all 40 seats

The BJP is contesting all 40 seats for the first time in the coastal State. The list was decided on after hectic deliberations that dragged through Wednesday and extended into the night.

Spouses of BJP leaders have also been given ticket, notably in the case of Mr. Monserrate and Health Minister Viswajit Rane, who will be contesting from Valpoi- the bastion of the Rane clan.

Mr. Rane’s wife, Divya Rane, has been given the ticket from Poriem – which is currently held by her father-in-law and stalwart Congressman, Pratapsingh Rane.

Mr. Monserrate’s wife, Jennifer Monserrate, has been given the ticket from Taleigao, where she is the incumbent MLA.

Defending the party’s decision to award tickets to members of the same family, Mr. Fadnavis said: “We have something called ‘occupational hazard’ in politics as well… both Babush Monserrate and his wife come into the BJP [from the Congress] when they were already sitting MLAs. Besides, Ms. Jennifer Monserrate has her own identity and is a Cabinet Minister in the current BJP government,” he stated.

On Ms. Divya Rane being given ticket, he observed that he had requested Mr. Pratapsingh Rane to either join the BJP and contest from Poriem or give the ticket to the saffron party as the Congress’s fortunes were allegedly on the wane.

“At the time, Pratapsingh Rane, owing to his age, had expressed his reluctance to contest from Poriem and said that Divya Rane would contest in his stead,” Mr. Fadnavis noted.

He denied that there was an ‘understanding’ between the Congress and the BJP over the Poriem seat. While the Congress would definitely field a candidate from there, the BJP would defeat him, he said.

Last month, the Congress announced the candidature of the Mr. Pratapsingh Rane (82), a 11-time MLA who has been the State’s longest serving Chief Minister after his son, Viswajit Rane, had said he would contest against his father and defeat him by a wide margin.

However, after the party approved of his candidature on December 22, the senior Rane denied that the Congress’s poll panel had finalised his nomination.

CM contesting from Sanquelim

Chief Minister Pramod Sawant will be contesting from his turf, Sanquelim, seeking re-election for the third time.

In a bid to rebuff reports that the saffron party was ‘sidelining’ Christian minorities, the party has included nine Catholic candidates – the maximum number fielded by it thus far and 11 other backward caste (OBC) candidates.

The party under Manohar Parrikar had fielded six Christian candidates in 2012, and eight in 2017.

Arun Singh, party’s national general secretary who announced the list, said three Scheduled Tribe (ST) candidates and one Scheduled Caste (SC) candidate will contest on ‘general’ seats.

‘Defectors feature prominently in the list, given the BJP’s strategy of ‘candidate winnability’ above all else.

Ex-Goa Forward Party (GFP) MLA Jayesh Salgaonkar is to contest from his bastion in Saligao, while former Independent MLA Rohan Khaunte, who joined the party despite his friction with Mr. Sawant, will fight from Porvorim, which he held before resigning recently.

Asserting that the BJP government would emerge triumphant in the election slated to be held on February 14, Mr. Fadnavis said that in the last decade, the BJP, first under Manohar Parrikar and now under Mr. Sawant, had ended the ‘instability’ plaguing Goa’s politics.

“While other parties in the poll fray have a one-point agenda of fighting the BJP, our party has been fighting for Goa’s development,” he added.

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Printable version | May 17, 2022 4:06:57 am | https://www.thehindu.com/elections/goa-assembly/goa-assembly-elections-bjp-announces-first-list-of-34-candidates-manohar-parrikars-son-utpals-name-missing/article38296694.ece