Panjim: In what could upset the BJP plans, former Chief Minister Laxmikant Parsekar has expressed his desire to contest the upcoming by-elections from Mandrem constituency. The ex-CM has asked the party to consider giving him the ticket to contest from his home ground. His statement comes at the time when Dayanand Sopte, who deserted the Congress and joined BJP in October 2018, is prepping up to contest from the same constituency on the BJP ticket.
“My health is supporting me and with a two year break, I am refreshed and rejuvenated to contest elections. My party should consider me positively for the upcoming by-election,” he said.
Parsekar had lost to Sopte, who was then in the Congress party, by a margin of nearly 4,000 votes in the 2017 State Assembly elections. The former Mandrem MLA conceded he had lost connect with his constituency people as he shifted to Panjim during his tenure as the CM.
“I had lost the connection with my people the last time because I was in Panjim all the time. But now, my constituency people have realised their mistake (by voting against the BJP) and have also expressed their mistake to me. I think this time I am sure to win,” he said, indicating that the BJP ticket to Sopte will spell doom to the party.
Recently, BJP’s Morjim Block supported Parsekar as the BJP candidate for the vacant Mandrem seat. The Block members also threatened that if the party denies him a ticket, the committee and party workers will work for Parsekar even if he contests as an Independent.
Parsekar, who has gone hammer and tongs against his party chief Vinay Tendulkar and had objected to Sopte’s entry into the BJP last year, had asked the party not to take him for granted indicating he might rebel.
The former CM has also taken a dig at defeated BJP MLA Mahadev Naik’s inclination towards the Congress to contest the Shiroda by-poll on their ticket. “I am not a flying bird. I have a lengthy political background under BJP party alone,” he commented. [H]