Ex-Shiv Sena chief embraces BJP

Panaji: Bhandari Samaj leader and former Shiv Sena in-charge Upendra Gaonkar joined the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) in the presence of Chief Minister Dr Pramod Sawant at an official event here on Thursday.

Welcoming Gaonkar into the BJP, Sawant said that he is a well-known social and political leader and with him joining the BJP, the party’s candidature contesting in Lok Sabha and by-election will get a further boost.

Noting that he started his political journey with the Shiv Sena and was its state in-charge for nine years, the Bhandari Samaj leader Upendra Gaonkar told reporters that joining the BJP is a significant moment in his life and he would now work dedicatedly for the saffron party leaving no stone unturned to ensure victory in the polls.

Gaonkar, who is the general secretary of Goa Bhandari Samaj, said his union into BJP is nothing new as ever since he left Shiv Sena nine years ago, he shared a close relation with several BJP leaders and party workers and “now with my official entry as party member has strengthened our ties.”

The chief minister also reacted strongly to the statement made by Atanasio Monserrate that no job and development work was taken up in the city under the leadership of Manohar Parrikar.

“The entire state knows the development works delivered by former chief minister the late Manohar Parrikar and it will be inappropriate for anybody to question the development works carried out under his regime. The jobs are given based on merit and Monserrate should not speak on it,” Sawant said.