Days after ex-Goa Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar's son filed his nomination papers from Panaji, the Shiv Sena on Monday, 31 January, announced that it will withdraw its candidate from the constituency in order to mark its support for Utpal Parrikar.
Announcing the withdrawal on Twitter, Sena leader Sanjay Raut said that the decision had been taken in the interests of 'purification of Goa politics'.
"We're keeping our word. Shiv Sena is withdrawing its candidate Shailendra Velingkar from Panaji. Not just that, our workers will fully support Utpal Parrikar. We believe that the battle for Panaji is just about election, but also about the purification of Goa politics (sic)."Sanjay Raut
"If Utpal Parrikar contests as an independent from Panaji seat, I propose all non-BJP parties including Aam Aadmi Party, Congress, Trinamool Congress and Goa Forward Party should support his candidature and not field a candidate against him. This will be a true tribute to Manohar Bhai!" Raut had said earlier this month.
After being denied a ticket by the BJP, Utpal Parrikar had quit the party on 21 January. The son of former Goa CM had subsequently declared on 27 January that he would contest from his father's constituency Panaji as an independent candidate.
Manohar Parrikar, a three-time Chief Minister, had held the Panaji seat for 25 years before his demise in 2019.
In the by-election after Parrikar's death, Atanasio Monserrate, accused in a rape case, had won as a Congress candidate but later switched to the BJP. He has been fielded as BJP's candidate for the Panaji for the upcoming polls.
Goa, which has 40 Assembly seats, will go to the polls on 14 February. The counting of votes will be held on 10 March.