Panaji | Jagran News Desk: BJP leader Utpal Parrikar, son of former Defence Minister and Goa CM late Manohar Parrikar, quit BJP on Friday. "I will be contesting as an Independent candidate from Panaji constituency," Utpal told news agency ANI.

The BJP on Thursday had announced 34 candidates in its first list for Goa, in which Utpal Parrikar's name was missing. "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 told a group of reporters in Delhi. 

After being denied the ticket from his preferred seat by the BJP, Utpal was offered an AAP ticket by party convenor Arvind Kejriwal. 

"Goans feel very sad that BJP has adopted 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 AAP ticket," Kejriwal wrote on Twitter on Thursday. Utpal, however, put all the anticipations to rest and announced on Saturday that he will contest as an Independent.

Manohar Parrikar, a three-time Goa Chief Minister and BJP's most charismatic leader from the coastal state, died in office in 2019. Parrikar held the Panaji constituency for 25 years.

Babush Monserrate, who was his lifelong rival, will now contest from Panaji constituency. Monserrate is reported to be the politician who engineered the defection of 10 Congress MLAs into the BJP in July 2019. The BJP is contesting all 40 seats for the first time in the coastal State. 

Spouses of BJP leaders have also been given ticket, in the case of Monserrate and Health Minister Viswajit Rane. While Rane’s wife, Divya Rane, has been given the ticket from Poriem, Monserrate’s wife, Jennifer Monserrate, has been given the ticket from Taleigao.

The assembly polls will be held in Goa on February 14, with the results set to be announced on March 10.

Posted By: Mukul Sharma