New Delhi: The ruling BJP on Thursday (January 20) announced 34 candidates for the ensuing Goa polls fielding Chief Minister Pramod Sawant to contest from Sanquelim.
Making the announcement at the party headquarters, BJP leaders Arun Singh and Devendra Fadnavis (poll in-charge for Goa) said Deputy CM Manohar Ajgaonkar would contest from Margaon.
Significantly, the BJP list includes three scheduled tribe ST Candidates and one scheduled caster SC candidate on general seats in the 40-member Goa assembly. Of the 12 OBC candidates, nine of them are Christians, party sources said.
Former Maharashtra CM Devendra Fadnavis said, sitting MLA from Panjim has been given the ticket. Former Goa chief minister and Defence Minister Late Manohar Parrikar's son Utpal Parrikar, who was keen for a Panjim ticket, has been given two alternative offers, Mr Fadnavis told reporters. "We offered him alternatives, he refused the first one. Talks are on with him, and we feel he would agree," Fadnavis exuded confidence.
Sitting MLA, Atanasio Monserrate will contest from Panjim (or Panaji) seat. Notably, the wife of Health Minister Vishwajit Rane has been named candidate from the Poriem seat. Divya Rane, the wife of Vishwajit Rane, is set to face former chief minister and her father-in-law Pratap Singh Rane in the election. Vishwajit Rane will himself contest from Valpoi.
Former Social welfare Minister Milind Naik, who resigned as minister, has been made the saffron party candidate from Mormugao. Deputy Chief Minister Ajgaonkar and Pernem MLA have been fielded from Margaon, and in all likelihood, he will take on Congress MLA and leader of opposition Digambar Kamat.
Other prominent candidates named in the BJP's candidates list are Taleigao – Jennifer Monserrate, Fatorda – Domodar Gajanan Naik, Dabolim – Mauvin Godinho, Mayem – Premender Shet, Tivim – Neelkant Harlamkar and Siolim – Dayanand Mandrekar