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It’s official! Sopte is BJP candidate for Mandrem bypoll

PANAJI: The Bharatiya Janata Party has made it official that former Congressmen, Dayanand Sopte, who is new entrant to the party would be its candidate for the forthcoming Mandrem bypoll, just as ‘rebel’ BJP leader and former chief minister Laxmikant Parsekar called it “rowdy’s innings” on the part of the party leaders.

“The BJP leadership had recently promised me that a survey would be conducted in Mandrem to find out the political situation in the constituency, and the candidate would be selected on the winnability criteria,” Parsekar maintained, adding that the party is now going back on its words and announcing the Mandrem candidate in an informal way.

Union Minister of State (Independent Charge) for AYUSH Shripad Naik during the recent Vijay Sankalp rally of the BJP in Mandrem expressed confidence that the people of Mandrem constituency would elect Sopte with a large margin during the bypoll. “The BJP workers have provided a clear picture through their hard work that the people of Mandrem and North Goa would elect the BJP candidates at the forthcoming Mandrem bypoll and Lok Sabha election, respectively,” he added.

Naik also informed that the photos and the footage of the Vijay Sankalp rally would reach the office of the Prime Minister. Sopte was also present on the occasion.

Interestingly, Laxmikant Parsekar, the former BJP MLA of the Mandrem constituency, and his supporters were not invited for the event.

“I was not invited for the Vijay Sankalp rally because it was a nationwide programme of the BJP aimed at the forthcoming Lok Sabha polls and only BJP’s Lok Sabha candidate for North Goa, that is Shripad bhau was expected to be present for this event,” Parsekar stated, adding that “somehow Shripad bhau deviated from his path at this programme and brought in the issue of bypoll.”

“I have no idea why he did it,” he lamented.

Meanwhile, Sopte, speaking on the occasion said that if voted to victory at the Mandrem bypoll, he would complete all the pending works in the constituency as per the advice and guidance of his voters.

It may be recalled that Parsekar had earlier told this daily that his supporters – comprising of the Mandrem BJP Mandal workers – were pressurising him to contest as an independent candidate from Mandrem, if the BJP denied him candidature.

National BJP president, Amit Shah, during his meeting with Parsekar on February 9, earlier this year had indicated that Parsekar should not stake a claim with the party for the Mandrem candidature.

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