Goa Assembly Election 2022: A day after quitting BJP, Utpal Parrikar, son of late ex-Goa CM Manohar Parrikar, on Saturday said he is ready to withdraw from the election race if the BJP fields an honest candidate from Panaji. “My stand on Panaji is a principle stand. I said yesterday that if the party fields an honest candidate with integrity and no criminal records for Panaji then I’m ready to withdraw (as independent candidate),” Utpal Parrikar said.Also Read - BJP Leader Vinay Katiyar Demands Ban On Entry Of Muslims In Gyanvapi, Calls Asaduddin Owaisi Insane

On Friday, Utpal Parrikar had announced to contest next month’s Goa Assembly elections from Panaji as an independent candidate and added quitting the party was the “most difficult” decision. Also Read - Arjun Singh, BJP Lok Sabha MP & Former West Bengal BJP Vice-President, Rejoins TMC

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The move was taken after Parrikar was denied ticket by the BJP from Panaji, a constituency which his father and party veteran had represented for more than two decades.

Upset over the decision, Parrikar on Friday quit the BJP and said he would fight the February 14 elections from the Panaji seat as an independent.

The BJP has nominated from Panaji its sitting MLA Atanasio Monserrate, one of ten legislators who had joined the saffron party in July 2019 after quitting Congress. Monserrate is facing criminal cases, including a case of rape of a minor.

Talking to PTI on Saturday, Utpal Parrikar said the BJP is always in his heart and he is fighting for the party’s soul. He said the decision to quit the party was not easy for him. “It was the most difficult decision. All this while I was hoping that I won’t have to take such a decision,” he said.

He said he was trying to avoid this kind of a situation (where he had to resign and contest as an independent). “I am not happy that I had to take this decision, but some times you have to take tough decisions. But I am ready to withdraw the decision if the party fields a good candidate from Panaji, he said.