Goa chief minister Manohar Parrikar will contest a bypoll from state capital Panaji, president of the state unit of the Bharatiya Janata Party Vinay Tendulkar said on Wednesday.
Parrikar is not a member of the 40-member state legislative assembly and will have to contest an election within 6 months of taking over as the chief minister. He resigned as the defence minister in March to take over as the chief minister of the coastal state.
There was speculation that Parrikar could contest from the Curchorem assembly seat in south Goa, which elected BJP legislator Nilesh Cabral in the February 4 elections with a huge margin.
“The party has decided that Parrikar should contest from Panaji. Sitting legislator Sidharth Kuncalienkar has voluntarily decided to step down,” said Tendulkar.
Panaji, from where Parrikar has won since 1994, is traditionally considered as an easy seat for the BJP. He vacated the seat in 2014 when he was nominated as the defence minister.
The state will also witness another bypoll in Valpoi after the resignation of Congress MLA Vishwajit Rane who had joined the BJP. Rane is now health minister in Parrikar’s cabinet.
If BJP manages to win these 2 seats, its tally in the state assembly will go up to 14 seats compared to 16 of the Congress.
The date of the bypolls is yet to be decided.
The BJP came to power in March by forging an alliance with the Goa Forward Party and the Maharashtrawadi Gomantak Party and 3 Independent MLAs.