Fri, 19 Apr, 2019

Babush firm on Panaji bypoll; to say ‘bye’ to Goa Forward

Says will contest as an Independent; to begin campaign from Monday

23rd March 2019, 02:08 Hrs

the goan I network

PANAJI

Former Minister Atanasio Babush Monserrate on Friday announced that he was quitting the Goa Forward Party, which he had joined prior to the Panaji bypolls in September 2017 and that he would contest the upcoming Panaji bypoll.   

Monserrate who had contested from Panaji in February 2017 but lost narrowly to the BJP’s Siddharth Kuncaliencar despite a hard fought campaign, said that he was only quitting the Goa Forward not to embarrass them since they are part of the BJP-led alliance government.   

“I’ll be contesting this time as an independent candidate. Since Goa Forward is a part of the alliance partner and I don’t want to create any differences between the alliance partners so I have decided to contest the Panjim elections as an independent,” Monserrate told reporters on Friday.   

“I will be starting mass contact with people and my campaign from Monday,” he said.   

When asked whether he would be open to contesting on the Congress ticket, the Taleigao strongman said, “I am contesting as an independent. Whoever wants to support is  free to support me”.

Babush’s decision will come as an added headache to the BJP which is already grappling with its alliance partner the MGP which has announced that it will contest the Shiroda bypoll and has refused to budge despite its leader Sudin Dhavalikar reiterating the party’s support to the government on the floor test held on Tuesday.   

Babush Monseratte had joined the Goa Forward in the run up to the 2017 byelection for Panjim after MLA Sidharth  Kuncolienkar had resigned to make way for former chief minister Manohar  Parrikar.  

Sources said Babush, who had 

initially planned to  contest the Panjim bypoll against Parrikar, later did the  re-think after a meeting between him and the Goa Forward chief at the  Davondem bandh.   

The Goa Forward chief was then on record saying that Babush  had agreed not to contest the Panjim bypoll at his behest. He was  also record then that he had made the request to Babush not to throw his  hat in the 

Panjim bypoll ring after he was told by Manohar Parrikar  to discuss the matter with the 

former Taleigao MLA.