The Bharatiya Janata Party on Monday gave the first public snub to its former state president Laxmikant Parsekar by changing the Mandrem BJP Mandal president, without consulting him, thus giving a clear signal that Dayanand Sopte will be BJP’s candidate for the forthcoming bypoll in Mandrem constituency.
A press note released by the city BJP headquarters on February 18, 2019, states that Madhusudan Parab has been appointed as the president of the Mandrem BJP Mandal by party’s state chief Vinay Tendulkar. It also informs that other office bearers and members of the Mandal committee would be appointed soon.
When this daily contacted Parsekar, the former chief minister said that he was totally unaware of the changes taking place in the Mandrem Mandal of the party, and further stated that no one with the name of Madhusudan Parab exists in Mandrem BJP Mandal. “As far as I know, there is no one with that name in any of the 46 booths existing under the Mandrem BJP Mandal,” he added.
It may be recalled that Parsekar, who had lost the 2017 state Assembly election from the Mandrem constituency, had been vehemently demanding party’s candidature in this constituency, following the resignation of Dayanand Sopte as the Mandrem MLA.
Sopte, a Congress legislator had resigned as the member of the state Assembly, in October 2019 and joined the BJP, with another Congress MLA Subhash Shirodkar after being assured of BJP candidature at the Mandrem by-election.
All this while, Parsekar spoke against his party’s assurance to Sopte and maintained that he had strong backing of Mandrem BJP Mandal, about which Sopte should be concerned.
When BJP’s national president Amit Shah arrived in Goa on February 9 to address a meeting of the party’s booth workers from the state, he met Parsekar and tried to convince him to give up his claim on Mandrem constituency.
Furthermore, Shah also made it aptly clear to the senior state party officials that the party needs to “honour its word” to Sopte and Shirodkar as regards fielding them as the BJP candidates during the bypolls, for leaving the Congress and joining the BJP.
It is also learnt that the BJP central leadership is very serious on “honouring its word” to the two former Congressmen since the party wants to send out a clear message that those who join the BJP in the future on any condition will have the particular condition fulfilled. For this purpose, the BJP central leadership has even relaxed the ‘winnability’ criteria for Sopte and Shirodkar.
As a precursor to the announcement of Sopte as BJP candidate for Mandrem, the party is now creating conducive atmosphere for him in the constituency, including elimination of Parsekar loyalists from its Mandrem Mandal committee.