Stating that the state unit of the Bharatiya Janata Party has no idea as to whether Utpal, the son of the departed chief minister Manohar Parrikar is willing to contest the bypoll in the Panaji constituency or not, state BJP president Vinay Tendulkar on Monday informed that in the past the party’s Goa in-charge Avinash Rai Khanna had suggested to both the sons of Parrikar about working for the party.
“The party however will follow up the matter,” he added, pointing out that the Panaji bypoll is yet to be announced, and therefore there is no question of declaring the BJP candidate for the constituency yet.
The state unit of the party informed that Shripad Naik will file his nomination papers as the Lok Sabha candidate of BJP for North Goa on March 28 at Panaji, while Narendra Sawaikar, the Lok Sabha candidate of BJP for South Goa would do so at Margao on March 29. It was also informed that ‘Main Bhi Chowkidar’ programme of the party would be held in Mapusa and Curchorem on March 31.
Dayanand Mandrekar and Mauvin Godinho have been appointed as the BJP campaign in-charge for Lok Sabha election, in North Goa and South Goa, respectively.
Ramesh Tawadkar has also been appointed as the state vice-president of the party.
Tendulkar said that although no one is working ‘secretively’ against the BJP candidates for the Lok Sabha elections in Goa as well as against party’s candidates for the three by-polls,
the party is shocked to see that Maharashtrawadi Gomantak Party president Pandurang ‘Deepak’ Dhavalikar has re-started his campaign in Shiroda in the last two-three days.
“In spite of the fact that Dhavalikar had telephonically assured senior BJP leader Nitin Gadkari about withdrawing from the electoral fray, he has gone back on his words,” he added, maintaining that the BJP central leadership has already been informed about this recent development.
Replying to a question as regards Parrikar’s name being recommended for Bharat Ratna, the highest civilian award of the government of India, Tendulkar said that he is unaware of the same.
“Such things are recommended by the state government to the Centre,” he noted.
Answering another question, the state BJP chief said that he is very sad to see a senior party leader from Mapusa, Sudhir Kandolkar leaving the BJP and joining Congress.
“He should have stayed with us,” Tendulkar observed.