Goa

Goa: Laxmikant Parsekar on party panel to pick poll candidates


Panaji, Mar 15 (TOI): There seems to be an uneasy truce in BJP as the two warring seniors from the party—state chief Vinay Tendulkar and former chief minister Laxmikant Parsekar—seemed to have backed down from their belligerent stands with Parsekar’s appointment to the party’s state election committee that will shortlist candidate for the three bypolls and Lok Sabha elections.

“I have heard what Parsekar had to say and where he has made it clear that he is with the party. I have full confidence in Parsekar that he will continue with the party,” Tendulkar told reporters after announcing the former chief minister’s name as the party’s poll panel committee member on Thursday.

Parsekar, on his part, also seems to have mellowed down. “It appears, after reading what I had to say, Tendulkar has had a change of heart. Better sense prevailed,” he told TOI.

BJP will announce its candidates for the three bypolls to Mandrem, Shiroda and Mapusa and the two Lok Sabha seats on March 18. “On March 18, the parliamentary board will meet in Delhi and the names selected by the state election committee would be declared there,” Tendulkar said.

Not on field, but Manohar Parrikar is actively guiding us: BJP

While the incumbent MPs, Union minister Shripad Naik from North Goa and Narendra Sawaikar from South Goa, are assured of renomination by the party, all eyes have been on Mandrem and Shiroda where BJP has been facing a revolt from Parsekar and opposition from its ally MGP.

In Mandrem, BJP has almost decided on fielding Dayanand Sopte, who quit as a Congress MLA to join the party, while in Shiroda it will be Subhash Shirodkar, who also defected from Congress to the saffron fold.

While Parsekar has been keen on contesting from Mandrem, MGP president Pandurang ‘Deepak’ Dhavalikar has been doing the rounds in Shiroda, queering the pitch for BJP.

With its star campaigner chief minister Manohar Parrikar unable to take part in election campaigning due to his ill health, BJP is grappling on many fronts to give a momentum to its poll drive.

But party spokesman and power minister Nilesh Cabral tried to underplay Parrikar’s absence from the field. “We all know about Parrikar’s health. Unfortunately, he is not active on the field today, but he is actively guiding us in all directions and that guidance is of immense help to us,” he said.

BJP state unit has also invited Prime Minister Narendra Modi to address a rally in the second week of April.

With the formation of the election committee, the process for selecting the candidates has begun.

Naik, a four-term MP from North Goa, launched his campaign on Thursday by offering prayers at the Mahalasa temple at Mardol.

The committee is headed by Tendulkar and besides Parsekar the other members include chief minister Manohar Parrikar, Union minister Shripad Naik, Rajendra Arlekar, Dayanand Mandrekar, Narendra Sawaikar, Dattaprasad Kholkar, Nilesh Cabral, Sadanand Shet Tanavade, Sanjeev Desai, Govind Parvatkar, Damodar Naik, Kunda Chodankar, Sulaksha Sawant and party organising secretary Satish Dhond.

 


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