Goa Polls: Utpal Parrikar Weighs Options As Storm Brews Over BJP’s Ticket Denial

The BJP's move to refuse the previous chief minister of Goa Manohar Parrikar's son Utpal Parrikar a ticket to run in the forthcoming assembly polls from the Panaji seat has created heated political speculation about his future step.

Utpal, whose father was a Bharatiya Janata Party Member in Goa's capital from 1994 until 2014, when he resigned to become the federal defence minister, and then returned from 2017 till his death in 2019, is alleged to have turned down the party's offer to run for the Bicholim seat, which is 25 kilometres from the capital.

The governing party chose Babush Monserrate over Parrikar to thank the Monserrates, whose aid was instrumental in ten Congress Member of the Legislative Assembly joining the Bharatiya Janata Party in 2019. Several charges have been brought against Atanasio Babush Monserrate, involving rape, riots, and other offences.

The ruling Party justified the move, claiming that the ticket was provided to an incumbent MLA.

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A current Legislator has been handed a ticket in Panaji, according to Devendra Fadnavis, the BJP's Goa in charge. They are all related to Parrikar's family. They are close to them. He'd offered Utpal Parrikar two choices to choose from if he wanted to run for office. One alternative had been rejected by Utpal. They're still talking to him about the second alternative. They're all of the opinions that Utpal should take it. The Parrikar family has been valued by the Bharatiya Janata Party.

Once Rajesh Patnekar the speaker of the assembly, who serves the seat, resigned from the contest citing his poor health, Utpal was handed the BJP's nomination for the Bicholim seat, where the party is trying to recruit a nominee.

Utpal, who is considering running as an independent, has stated that if the BJP chooses a candidate with criminal ties, he will not remain idle.

Utpal said a week ago, in response to Fadnavis' remarks, that the type of politics that is taking on in Goa is something he cannot support. He doesn't think it's acceptable. Are they implying that simply winning is the criterion and that integrity is irrelevant? Isn't it true that character isn't important? Are they planning to deliver the ticket to someone who has a criminal history and make them stay at home? To which he was told that merely since Utpal is Manohar Parrikar's or anyone else's son, he will not be given a Bharatiya Janata Party ticket.

Simultaneously, Arvind Kejriwal, the national convener of the Aam Aadmi Party, officially proposed Utpal an Aam aadmi party ticket.

On Thursday, Arvind tweeted that Goans are disappointed that the Bharatiya Janata party has chosen a use-and-throw strategy, also with the Parrikar household. Manohar Parrikar Ji is someone he has always admired. Utpal Ji is invited to join the party and run for office on the Aam Aadmi Party ticket.

The Chief Minister of Goa, Pramod Sawant, on the other hand, slammed Kejriwal, labelling him an opportunist and recalling Kejriwal's previous rant against Parrikar, blaming him for failing to fight bribery in Goa despite vowing to do so.