Rebel BJP leader files papers as independent in Goa by-poll

November 8th, 2008 - 3:07 pm ICT by IANS  

Bharatiya Janata PartyPanaji, Nov 8 (IANS) Former state Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) president Suresh Amonkar has filed his nomination for North Goa’s Pale assembly by-election as an independent candidate. The by-election has been necessitated by the death of Congress legislator Gurudas Gauns. The polling is on Nov 26.

Amonkar, a two-time legislator and minister in the last BJP government, was denied party nomination this time. The state BJP instead has fielded a comparatively raw candidate in Pramod Sawant.

The same party leaders, who had dismissed ‘rumours’ of Amonkar’s disenchantment with the party, were seen making a beeline for the dissident BJP leader’s house in Pale Friday asking him to reconsider his decision.

Among the leaders who dropped in at Amonkar’s home were state BJP president and Lok Sabha MP Shripad Naik, leader of opposition Manohar Parrikar, south Goa legislator Damodar Naik, along with former state BJP presidents, Rajendra Arlekar and Laxmikant Parsenkar.

After filing his nomination papers at Bicholim Friday, Amonkar was not clear if he would seek support from BJP’s rival, Maharashtrawadi Gomantak Party (MGP), who still haven’t announced their strategy for the forthcoming by-polls. “I am contesting as an independent because the BJP denied me a ticket,” Amonkar told reporters.

Meanwhile, Chief Minister Digambar Kamat, Goa Pradesh Congress Committee president Subhash Shirodkar and Health Minister Vishwajeet Rane accompanied Congress candidate Pratap Gawas when he filed his nomination for the Pale seat. Gawas is the brother of the late legislator.

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