Panaji, Dec 7 (IANS): Union Minister of State for Tourism Shripad Naik has said that anyone can seek a ticket to contest the Lok Sabha elections, but it is up to the party to whom it gives the ticket.
Naik's remarks came on Wednesday after Goa BJP leader Dayanand Sopte reportedly said on Monday that Naik should "make way for the younger lot in the party".
Political circles in Goa are abuzz about whether Naik, a three-time Union Minister and five-time MP from North Goa, will be denied a ticket to contest the Lok Sabha elections in 2024.
Sopte had said that Naik has "become old and needs rest".
"Anybody can seek a ticket. It should be done on the right platform. Everyone knows about the process for seeking a ticket (from the party). But despite knowing the process, whoever doing this is not correct. The process (of candidate selection) will start in the next two months. The party will finalise the candidate and one has to accept it," Naik said.
A few months back, Naik told IANS that "efforts are being made by certain people to spoil his image". "They will not succeed in their efforts. I am fit enough to contest and work for people for the next five years," Naik had said.
Naik, popularly referred as 'Bhau' (Brother) in the state, is the tallest leader of the Bhandari Samaj, which comprises 60 per cent population of the state. He was Union Minister in the Atal Bihari Vajpayee government and now in both the terms of the Narendra Modi government.