Debate over BJP’s Panaji seat continues to rage



Days after BJP’s State election in-charge, Devendra Fadnavis sparked a debate with his contentious statement that being Manohar Parrikar's son does not guarantee a BJP ticket, hinting at Utpal Parrikar, the party continued to grapple with the ticket issue. On Friday, BJP's focus remained on Panaji as it questioned the leadership credentials of Utpal while consciously skirting the controversy surrounding the candidature of sitting MLA Atanasio alias Babush Monserrate over his criminal record.

Leadership credentials of Utpal questioned:  Utpal Parrikar who? Ex-Panaji MLA Sidharth Kuncalienkar on Friday refused to acknowledge Parrikar’s elder son, Utpal, as a BJP leader.

Grilled by media, Kuncalienkar found it difficult to squirm out a barrage of questions about moves made by Parrikar’s son.

To a question about a BJP leader who had started campaigning in Panaji, despite tickets not being announced, Kuncalienkar said that it was up to the BJP to decide whether Utpal, who is a member of the BJP state executive committee, was a party leader or not. “I am not aware”, he said.

Babush’ criminal cases:  BJP banks on law: After roasting Atanasio alias Babush Monserrate – a Congress candidate in the 2019 Panaji bypolls – over his long list of criminal accusations, the BJP on Friday tried to deflect the chequered past of Monserrate, who is one of the leading contenders for the party ticket for the Panaji constituency. 

Sidharth Kuncalienkar, now the ruling party’s official spokesperson, said that the law would take its course and punish the culprits in the 2008 attack on the Panaji police station. Monserrate is one of the key accused in the sensational case.

Utpal takes jibe at Fadnavis over ‘tainted’ claimants: Bharatiya Janata Party leader Utpal Parrikar took a jibe at his party's senior leader and Goa election in-charge Devendra Fadnavis questioning why the party was considering a man with "criminal antecedents" a day after the latter had questioned his claim for the Panaji constituency ticket.

"The current politics is not acceptable to me. Winnability, integrity, character does not matter? Are we allowing a person with criminal antecedent to contest constituency represented by Manohar Parrikar?," Utpal asked in a cryptic comment he made to Prudent news channel.

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