Parrikar will not contest Goa assembly poll: BJP

Panaji, Aug 8 (IANS) Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar will not be contesting the forthcoming assembly elections in Goa, state BJP chief Vinay Tendulkar said on Monday.

Tendulkar also said that BJP President Amit Shah will be kick-starting the party’s campaign for the 2017 state polls.

Asked to respond to reports in the national media, about the possible return of Parrikar, a former chief minister, to state politics, Tendulkar said: “No, he will not come”.

Media reports had said, with an eye on elections in the state, the BJP’s national leadership was keen on a change in the state leadership on the lines of Gujarat, where Anandiben Patel was replaced by Vijay Rupani as Chief Minister on Sunday.

Tendulkar also said that Chief Minister Laxmikant Parsekar alone will not be the party’s most prominent face during the campaign ahead of the polls.

“The face of CM will be there, (Union AYUSH Minister) Shripad bhau (Naik), Parrikar will be there,” Tendulkar said. His comment follows Parrikar’s public statement a month back, when the Defence Minister had tipped Parsekar to lead the poll campaign.

Tendulkar also said that Amit Shah would be arriving in Goa on a three-day visit from August 19-21, during which he would kickstart the poll campaign.

“On August 20 he will address a conference of nearly 10,000 poll booth workers. He will also be meeting MLAs, ministers and hold another meeting with the party’s state office bearers. It is a packed schedule. From August 20, the poll bugle will be sounded,” he said.



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