- Utpal wanted to contest polls from Panaji, the seat represented by his father Manohar Parrikar
- However, BJP preferred sitting MLA Atanasio Babush Monserrate over Utpal Parrikar from Panaji
- Utpal then quit the BJP and decided to enter the fray from Panaji seat an independent candidate
Goa Elections 2022: Denied ticket from Panaji by the ruling BJP, his late father's constituency, former Goa CM Manohar Parrikar's son Utpal Parrikar on Thursday filed his nomination papers from here as an independent candidate. He had quit the BJP last week. Speaking to India TV after filing his papers, Utpal said that he will not return to the BJP fold even if he wins elections.
"Pramod Sawant (Goa CM) is saying that the BJP offered me two or three seats, but the truth is that the party never offered me a ticket to contest from Panaji. Even if I win elections, I will not rejoin the BJP," Utpal, who offered prayers at Mahalaxmi temple before filing nomination as an independent candidate in Panaji, said.
Utpal wanted to contest polls from Panaji, the seat represented by his father in the Legislative Assembly. The BJP, however, preferred Atanasio Babush Monserrate, a Congress alum, over Utpal from Panaji. Monserrate is a sitting MLA and a former Congress leader.
Although the BJP promised Utpal with other options, Parrikar's son was adamant on entering the poll fray from Panaji. Later, Utpal quit the saffron party and announced that he will contest polls from Panaji as an independent candidate. Opposition parties including Aam Aadmi Party (AAP), TMC and Shiv Sena had even invited Utpal to contest polls on their election symbol, but he turned down their offer.
Manohar Parrikar had won every election from Panaji held since 1994. He had resigned in February 2015 after Prime Minister Narendra Modi roped in as the Defence Minister in the Union Cabinet. He was rushed to Goa in 2017 to head a BJP-led alliance government. He then successfully contested bypolls from Panaji.
Utpal also lashed out at Babush, saying, "The BJP decided to give ticket to a tainted candidate. He (Babush) has criminal records... I will defeat Babush and win polls. Panaji residents are with me. I will reach out to the public and work for the development of Panaji."
When asked about Opposition parties like TMC and AAP approaching him, Utpal replied: "My fight is not against the AAP, TMC and Congress, my fight is only against Babush."
Polling for the 40-member Goa Assembly will be held on February 14 and the counting of votes will be taken up on March 10.