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Sunday, Sep 22, 2019

‘I’ve not thought about it yet’: Manohar Parrikar’s son on entering politics

Manohar Parrikar died on March 17 after losing his year-long battle with pancreatic cancer. Parrikar was diagnosed with advanced pancreatic cancer in February last year and was repeatedly admitted to hospitals in Goa, Mumbai, New Delhi and New York.

india Updated: Mar 29, 2019 17:34 IST
Gerard de Souza
Gerard de Souza
Hindustan Times, Panaji
In his first interaction with the media, Utpal said he hasn’t had the time to reflect upon his political future since he was in mourning for the last few days.
In his first interaction with the media, Utpal said he hasn’t had the time to reflect upon his political future since he was in mourning for the last few days.(Twitter/Utpal Parrikar)
         

Late Goa chief minister Manohar Parrikar’s elder son, Utpal Parrikar, said on Friday he has not yet thought about contesting elections despite a growing chorus within the BJP that he should take up from where his father left.

Manohar Parrikar died on March 17 after losing his year-long battle with pancreatic cancer. Parrikar was diagnosed with advanced pancreatic cancer in February last year and was repeatedly admitted to hospitals in Goa, Mumbai, New Delhi and New York.

In his first interaction with the media, Utpal said he hasn’t had the time to reflect upon his political future since he was in mourning for the last few days.

“Actually, I am just now coming out of mourning. I have not given any thought to it. Whenever the time comes... I have taken note of all the sentiments of people. That time I will decide. Right now, I have not thought about it. I have to think about it. As of now, there is no decision,” Utpal told reporters.

The BJP’s state unit president Vinay Tendulkar had said earlier that the party had already approached Utpal to join it.

“The BJP national vice-president Avinash Rai Khanna has requested both of Parrikar’s sons to join the BJP when he met them after Parrikar’s death…,” Tendulkar had said adding that they would follow it up with the family after a while.

Elections to the Panaji assembly seat, which fell vacant after the death of Manohar Parrikar, will not be held along with Lok Sabha polls as the notification issued on Thursday makes no mention of it. This offers Utpal the time to arrive at a decision.

Utpal accompanied Union minister of state for AYUSH and four-time North Goa MP Shripad Naik as he filed his nomination paper for the North Goa Lok Sabha seat on Friday.

Nominations for Goa’s two Lok Sabha seats and three assembly by-polls began on April 28 after the notification of elections was formally issued.

“I am confident about my victory. The people of Goa have seen what the Prime Minister Narendra Modi-led government can deliver,” Naik said after he filed his nomination.

Naik was the first to begin his campaign on March 14 and has been touring the constituency in a bid to drum up support. BJP’s South Goa candidate and sitting MP Narendra Sawaikar was the first to file his nomination on Thursday.

Goa chief minister Pramod Sawant said people will vote for the Bharatiya Janata Party to honour Manohar Parrikar’s legacy.

“Definitely, people will vote for us as to honour and respect him and help us win both seats. The work and development that Manohar Parrikar has completed across for so many years, people will remember and will vote for us as a homage to Manohar Parrikar,” Sawant, who also accompanied Naik, said.

Sawant, who succeeded Manohar Parrikar as the chief minister, had earlier admitted that the state unit of the BJP would feel his absence and that it would affect the party’s campaign.

First Published: Mar 29, 2019 17:29 IST