The Navhind Times Archive

Sidharth banking on party cadre

Panaji: Sidharth Kunkalienkar, the Bharatiya Janata Party candidate for the Panaji bypoll is no novice for the capital city, and he even has 100 per cent track record as far as the assembly elections in the particular constituency is concerned, winning two out of two elections that he contested in the past here.

Atanasio ‘Babush’ Monserrate, who is one of the main rivals of Sidharth at the forthcoming by-election, has already started his campaigning in the city, a month back, even before his name was announced by the Congress party as its candidate, and hence has taken a lead in campaigning.

Sidharth, who defeated Babush at the 2017 state assembly election, from the same constituency, however has strength of the BJP organisation behind him as also is a well-known face for Panaji voters.

As a normal exercise followed in electoral campaigning, Sidharth is expected to initially proceed with door-to-door campaigning and then focus on corner meetings in the city, concluding with may be, a public meeting attended by one of the party’s national leaders.

It may be recalled that during the year-long illness of Parrikar, the contact of the leader with his constituency and its people had been obviously almost nil. Fortunately, the Panaji mandal of BJP is one of the strongest, most active, and performing mandals of the party in Goa, and therefore can provide certain relief to Sidharth.

The desire of the Chief Minister Pramod Sawant to extensively campaign for Sidharth in this constituency previously held by Manohar Parrikar, will also give a boost to the canvassing of the candidate.

In fact, the Chief Minister has already made it clear that he would personally identify and hear problems of the Panjimites and assure them of related solutions.

Furthermore, the close contact of Sidharth with the councillors of the Corporation of the City of Panaji under the Manohar Parrikar panel would be an additional advantage for the Panaji by-poll candidate of the BJP.

Finally, the active participation of Utpal Parrikar in the campaign will also benefit Sidharth a great deal. Although it is not clear at this point of time, as to how much would the sympathy factor vis-à-vis demise of Manohar Parrikar would benefit Sidharth, the presence of Utpal besides him during canvassing would certainly prove valuable to him.

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