Parrikar confident of winning Panaji by-poll with bigger margin in ‘absence of opposition’
Panaji, August 23: As on Wednesday, the coastal state of Goa went to polls, a visibly-delighted Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar expressed confidence of winning the Panaji Assembly by-poll from which he is contesting with a bigger margin.
The Assembly by-polls for Panaji and Valpoi seats in Goa were held on Wednesday. In the Panaji contest, CM and former defence minister Parrikar was in the fray against Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi's confidante Girish Chodankar.
In Valpoi, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) fielded Congress rebel and health minister Vishwajeet Rane, whose main opponent is Roy Naik, the son of former state home minister Ravi Naik, of the Congress.
Panaji has been a bastion for BJP since 1994. The reason behind the CM's confidence is that Parrikar "virtually sees no opposition" in the contest.
The CM cited that 98 per cent of the BJP's voters would be stepping out to cast their ballots. "My lead will increase," Parrikar added.
When asked about his chances of winning the Panaji assembly seat for the sixth time, he said: "I can't see any opposition."
Asked about putting in more than usual effort in the by-poll campaign, than he and the BJP had in the past, Parrikar replied: "Shouldn't one campaign?"
"There were general elections when I would campaign all over Goa. Now we are campaigning only here," Parrikar said, after casting his vote at the Masson de Amorim polling booth.
"From my side we'll get 98 per cent... Two per cent may not be able to ...for some technical, medical reason," said Parrikar, who is contesting against Chodankar of the Congress and Anand Shirodkar from the Goa Suraksha Manch.
Speaking to reporters in Panaji, former Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) chief Subhash Velingkar, who is the mentor of the Goa Suraksha Manch said that the RSS volunteers would not support Parrikar.
"RSS workers will not vote for him and our Anand Shirodkar will win this election, with a small margin," Velingkar said.