Denied a chance to contest on their party symbols, a number of candidates from across the political spectrum in Goa have decided to revolt and contest as independents during the upcoming polls in the coastal state.
BJP denied ticket to former chief minister and senior BJP state leader and head of the BJPs manifesto committee of Goa Laximant Parsenkar Parsekar. The ruling party decided to allot the ticket to Dayanand Sopte, who had defeated the former chief minister in the 2017 polls. Sopte has since moved over to the BJP. Aggrieved with the party high command for denial of ticket Parsekar is expected to resign from all party positions on Saturday. He announced his decision of going ahead and contesting as an independent from Mandrem constituency.
Utpal Parrikar, son of former Goa chief minister and defence minister of India late Manohar Parikar was denied ticket for the upcoming assembly election of Goa. Utpal Parrikar was keen on the Panaji assembly seat and had launched a full-fledged campaign from Panaji. However, ticket was given to Atanasio Babush Monserrate a former Congressman and political opponent of the late Manohar Parrikar. Monserrate is also having criminal charges in two separate cases and is presently out on bail. Left with no other choice, Utpal Parrikar left the BJP and preparing to contest, as an independent, obviously, from Panaji assembly seat
Savitri Kavlekar, wife of deputy chief minister Chandrakant Babu Kavlekar, and the vice-president of the BJP’s state women’s wing was denied a ticket. As per BJP the party has adopted policy of one family one ticket, and accordingly she was denied a ticket because her husband and deputy chief minister Chandrakant Babu Kavlekar, has however been allotted a party ticket from the Quepem seat. On Thursday, January 20, hours after being denied a ticket, Savitri Kavlekar handed in her resignation as the vice-president of the BJP’s state women’s wing. At a press conference, she announced that she would fight the polls from Sanguem as an independent. She was upset at Health Minister Viswajit Rane and his wife Dr. Divya Rane being given party tickets to contest, ignoring one family one ticket principle.
PWD minister Deepak Pauskar and Deputy Speaker Isidore Fernandes are the two others from the ruling party to have resigned from the BJP to contest as rebels from Sanvordem and Canacona respectively. The BJP has allotted tickets to local leaders from both the seats. While Pauskar had been elected on a MGP ticket in 2017, Fernandes had won as a Congress candidate.
The Congress too has its share of rebels, with former Benaulim MLA Mickey Pacheco and Royla Fernandes fellow aspirant for the ticket from the same seat being denied the nomination. Upset at Anthony Dias being given the Congress ticket, both are set to plunge in as independents or explore other options in Benaulim where former chief minister Churchill Alemao is contesting on a TMC ticket. Pacheco had joined the Congress party just a few months ago hoping for a ticket.
In another South Goa constituency, former independent MLA Benjamin Silva who had shifted to Congress was denied a ticket, subsequently has quit the Congress and joined the TMC.
In Curtorim, the Congress has given the ticket to Moreno Rebello who spent 20 days in the BJP in December and came back to the party only when Alexio Reginaldo Lourenco quit the Congress to join the TMC.
Lourenco who has since quit the TMC within a month will contest as an independent after being denied a ticket by the Congress.
In capital Panaji, two former mayors are set to rebel against the Congress after the ticket was denied to them. Both Surendra Furtado and Uday Madkaikar were hoping for a ticket which has been given to former the 2017 AAP chief ministerial candidate and former bureaucrat Elvis Gomes. Gomes had earlier not been given a ticket from Cuncolim in South Goa.
The TMC which is fighting the elections on imports from other constituencies has also faced rebellion in St. Andre where aspirant Rama Kankonkar has quit after the ticket was allotted to Jagdish Bhobe, who joined the party a few hours before the list was declared. Kankonkar is set to fight as an independent.
As several rebels are set to enter the fray as independents, the three independent MLAs from the 2017 elections are set to fight on party symbols. While Govind Gaude and Rohan Khaunte are the BJP candidates from Priol and Porvorim, Prasad Gaonkar is the Congress candidate from Sanguem.