Panaji byelection: new group roots for BJP ticket to Utpal




The support campaign for Utpal Parrikar, son of the former chief minister the late Manohar Parrikar, as the BJP candidate for the forthcoming Panaji bypoll has already begun, just as the city BJP unit maintained that it would speak to both Utpal Parrikar as well as the central party leadership on the particular issue, once the mandatory 12-day mourning period of the Parrikar family ends.

The former chief minister, who had been ailing for the past 13 months, passed away on March 17.

He was the city MLA since 1994, and for two years during his tenure   as the defence minister, Panaji continued to be represented by the BJP.

A number of supporters and followers of Manohar Parrikar – not only from Panaji, but also from Margao, Vasco and even places like Sanguem – have formed a group called ‘Swabhimani Panjikar’. They are canvassing as regards the BJP candidature for Utpal Parrikar at the Panaji bypoll.

Sources told ‘The Navhind Times’ that ‘Swabhimani Panjikar’ are of the opinion that no one should be considered for the BJP candidature at the Panaji by-election other than Utpal Parrikar.

“We don’t see anyone else fit enough to be fielded as the BJP candidate in Panaji, other than Utpal,” one of the ‘Swabhimani

Panjikar’ members stated, pointing out that the group would also formally appeal to the state BJP unit about the same.

“We are sure that Utpal will not only win the Panaji assembly seat hands down, but it would also be a tribute to the man who worked tirelessly for the city for over quarter-century,” he added.

‘Swabhimani Panjikar’ members are also active on the social media and have uploaded a poster under the heading ‘Choice of Panaji’ with Utpal Parrikar’s photograph on it.

The poster while canvassing for Uptal Parrikar, states the group’s vision for Panaji, which includes aspects such as making the capital city energy-efficient, green and clean, and crime free as well as safe and secure.

Furthermore, the vision speaks about making Panaji creative and productive, congestion-free and peaceful, prosperous and progressive, and finally, a city for the talented youth.

On the party front, the state general secretary of BJP Sadanand Shet Tanavade said the Panaji bypoll is yet to be announced and the Parrikar family is in the mourning period, which makes it premature to start such talks.

“Once the right time approaches, we will consider all options,” the state BJP general secretary added, pointing out that Utpal Parrikar is already the primary member of the BJP.

“In fact, every BJP leader, worker and supporter, who is the member of the party, has his family members also enrolled as the BJP members,” he informed, noting that Utpal Parrikar is also one of the 4.30 lakh BJP members in the state.