Manohar Parrikar’s son reiterates claim for BJP ticket for Goa polls

Former Defence Minister late Manohar Parrikar’s son, Utpal, on Thursday reiterated his claim for a BJP ticket to contest his father’s Assembly seat, Panaji, while also warning of tough decisions he might have to take in case the ruling party denies him the ticket.

“I have already said I have informed my party that I want to contest elections from Panaji and I am confident that my party would give me a ticket,” Utpal Parrikar told reporters in Panaji.

The BJP, however, has said that the decision on fielding him from Panjim will be taken after assessing the ground reports.

Utpal also met several supporters and wellwishers at the Mahalaxmi temple in the state capital on the occasion of his birthday.

When asked if he would contest the polls as an independent if he is denied a ticket, Utpal said: “I do not want to speak about this now. Manohar Parrikar did not get anything in life easily and I too will have to work hard and I may have to take some tough decisions. I have asked the goddess for strength towards that end”.

“…throughout Goa there are workers who had belief in Bhai. I will source strength from them,” he also said.

“I will also stay within the BJP (and fight it out). When the time comes to take a decision, I will listen to the people. I have told the party and the party will give me (ticket). I am confident about it,” he further said, adding that he would not spell out his future strategy just yet.

Utpal was tipped to get the Panaji Assembly bypoll ticket after his father’s demise in 2019, however he was sidelined in favour of Sidharth Kuncalienkar, a Parrikar aide. Kuncalienkar, who contested the Panaji bypoll on a BJP ticket, however, lost the election to Congress’ Atanasio Monserrate, who months later however, joined the Bharatiya Janata Party.

A disillusioned Utpal had subsequently said that the Goa BJP had diverted from the path laid down by his father, a former Chief Minister, after his death.