In yet another rebellion within the BJP in Canacona, former MLA Vijay Poi Khot resigned from the party and has decided to contest as an independent candidate in the Canacona constituency.
With former MLA Isidore Fernandes resigning from the BJP on Thursday and also deciding to contest as an independent, the BJP vote base is likely to split into three camps.
When contacted, Poi Khot informed The Goan that he had submitted his resignation from the primary membership of BJP to the party office on Saturday.
“I will also email my resignation letter on Sunday as I do not wish to continue with BJP due to certain leaders. When I joined the party in 1998, the BJP was known as a ‘party with a difference’, now it is a ‘party which is different’.”
“I will contest as an independent and against the BJP to defeat the BJP candidate Ramesh Tawadkar and win the Canacona seat,” said Khot, who was MLA of Canacona for two terms.
Khot told reporters that in the 2017 assembly polls, a person who worked against him, who was the party candidate, and contested as an independent had even boasted that his aim had been achieved by getting him defeated.
“That same person has now been taken back into the party and rewarded with some plump positions in the party and the government,” said Khot.
According to sources, a senior BJP leader had gone to Canacona in a futile bid to persuade BJP Block President Nandip Bhagat and BJYM President Satish Gosavi to work for Tawadkar.
Both reportedly declined to do so and told the leader to reconsider the party’s candidate and to consider a candidate recommended by block members.
Making it clear that they wanted a BJP MLA in Canacona, Bhagat and Gosavi told the party leader that the people of Canacona did not want Tawadkar as the BJP candidate.
Poi Khot is the second BJP leader from Canacona, after Fernandes, to leave BJP and decide to contest independent, after the party declared Ramesh Tawadkar as its candidate from the Canacona constituency.
Khot is reported to have told party leaders that while he did not expect to be given the party ticket, he was certainly opposed to Tawadkar as the party candidate, especially since he had lost the elections due to Tawadkar. Khot said he was even prepared to support Fernandes as the party candidate.
With this, the BJP in Canacona is expected to split into three camps loyal to Tawadkar, Fernandes and Khot, with karyakartas campaigning separately for the different leaders.