Mumbai: Utpal Parrikar, son of three-time Goa Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar, has quit the BJP on Friday over alleged lack of refusal to let him contest from the Panaji seat in the upcoming assembly elections. Parrikar said that he would now contest as an independent candidate in the polls.
An aggrieved Parrikar said that it was "time to take a stand" for his values and let the people of Panaji judge his actions and efforts.
"I tried my best even during last and this election to convince my party that I enjoyed not only the support of all the party members, I also enjoy the support of general people of Panaji," Utpal Parrikar told reporters this evening.
"...All these years [Manohar Parrikar] had developed an immense bond with the people of Panaji which even I have developed. People did not vote for Manohar Parrikar just because he was Manohar Parrikar. They supported him because he stood for some values," he said.
Manohar Parrikar, the BJP's tallest leader in Goa, had held the Panaji constituency for 25 years before his death in 2019. But the party's choice was controversial MLA Atanasio "Babush" Monserrate - the lifelong rival of Manohar Parrikar - over his son.
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.
In November 2021, Parrikar had reiterated his desire to contest from Panaji and warned the BJP of consequences if he did not get the ticket.
Parrikar said that he had done faithful work for the party but the seat had gone to "an opportunist" who had only been in the BJP for two years. In the 2019 by-elections too he was sidelined in favour of Sidharth Kuncolienkar, a Parrikar loyalist. Subsequently, the BJP lost the seat to the Congress after 25 years with Monseratte was the winning candidate.
Utpal Parrikar lambasted the fact that the seat had gone to a candidate with a criminal record, which he claimed had let down many party workers. Monseratte has been accused of rale and was a former Congress member before shifting camp with nine other Congress workers.
He has already received an invitation from the Aam Admi Party (AAP) whose leader Arvind Kejriwal had offered him a ticket to contest in the elections. However Utpal said there was no chance of him joining any other parties.
"As far as political party is concerned, the only platform available to me is the BJP.... I have not accepted offers from my own party. There is no question of thinking of offers from other parties. It can never cross my mind," he told reporters.