Ahead of the Goa Assembly elections, Shiv Sena has extended support to former Union minister Manohar Parrikar’s son, Utpal Parrikar, who could fight as an Independent candidate from Panaji, after struggling to get a Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) ticket in Goa.
Shiv Sena leader Sanjay Raut on Monday, 17 January, extended support to Parrikar, adding that all non-BJP should “support his candidature and not field a candidate against him”.
While Parrikar had staked claim for his father’s Panaji seat in 2017, the BJP had fielded Atanasio Babush Monserrate, who had switched from Congress.
While BJP Goa in-charge Devendra Fadnavis said that being the son of a big leader is not a guarantee of getting a party ticket in BJP, Parrikar hit back by asking, "Does the party believe in integrity and character or not? Will the party give tickets to a person with a criminal background in the constituency that was once represented by the late Manohar Parrikar?"
Raut said in a tweet, “If Utpal Parrikar contests Independent from Panaji seat, I propose all non-BJP parties including Aam Aadmi Party, INC India, AITC official, Goa Forward Party, should support his candidature and not field a candidate against him. This will be a true tribute to Manohar Bhai!”
Meanwhile, reacting to Raut's comments, Goa BJP in charge CT Ravi said:
"Former Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar always worked for BJP and never brought his family to politics. AAP, Shiv Sena and Congress is talking about Utpal Parrikar, we'll not forget what Rahul Gandhi and Arvind Kejriwal said about him during his bad days."
The state of Goa is slated to go to polls on 14 February.