People will vote for BJP as homage to Parrikar: CM

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Panaji, March 29 (IANS) People of Goa will vote for the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) in the coming Lok Sabha polls as homage to late Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar who died on March 17, incumbent Chief Minister Pramod Sawant said on Friday.

Speaking to the media after outgoing Lok Sabha MP and Union Ayush Minister Shripad Naik filed his nomination papers for the North Goa seat, Sawant admitted that campaigning for the elections, in the absence of Parrikar, would be a difficult proposition.

“Because of the work and development which Manohar Parrikar has carried out for so many years, people will vote for us as a homage to the late leader. Definitely, they will vote for us as a mark of respect and remembrance to him and help us win both (Lok Sabha) seats,” Sawant said.

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He said the poll campaign would be “quite difficult” in Parrikar’s absence, but added that the body of work put in by him over the years as well as support from the allies, would see the party through in the polls.

“Without Parrikar, the campaigning is quite difficult for us, we know that. We are going into elections without Parrikar for the first time. But the people of Goa are with us. Alliance partners are with us.”

Sawant said that the Prime Minister Narendra Modi-led National Democratic Alliance government had spent Rs 15,000 crore for infrastructure development in Goa, which includes highway expansion, an upcoming international airport and new bridges which would help the BJP win the Lok Sabha polls.

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Sawant’s comment however, comes at a time when the Goa Chief Electoral Officer is probing a complaint against him for conducting a state-wide programme of distribution of Parrikar’s ashes, which were immersed in water bodies across Goa earlier this week.

The complaint filed by a city lawyer also quoted a part of Sawant’s speech where he reportedly said that in Parrikar’s absence, the late Chief Minister’s ashes will help fetch the BJP the winning votes in the forthcoming general elections as well as the by-polls to the three Assembly seats.

–IANS

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