Shripad quits union cabinet to fight Ravi

SANDESH PRABHUDESAI, PANAJI | 13 May 2002 22:38 IST

In a surprising development, union minister of state for shipbuilding Shripad Naik today tendered his resignation from the union cabinet and filed his nomination in Ponda to fight the Goa state Assembly polls.

As a last-minute arrangement, the BJP has roped in the North Goa MP to fight the Congress heavyweight Ravi Naik, who had quit as the deputy chief minister on Friday.

There are reports that Shripad may also be projected as the future chief minister of Goa, replacing present chief minister Manohar Parrikar.

After he had defected from the Congress in October 2000 to join hands with the BJP, Ravi's decision of homecoming came as a severe jolt to the saffron brigade. The former deputy CM is considered to be the leader of the Bhandari community, a majority among Hindus that dominates Goan politics.

Probably to counter the Congress move and woo the Bhandari vote bank, the saffron party has brought back Shripad to the state political arena as he is also equally respected leader of the Bhandari community in the state.

He filed his nomination today, the last day of filing nomination. The elections are scheduled for 30 May.

Rather than confirming the report, Shripad prefers to maintain silence over the decision of projecting him as the CM. "The party may decide on the issue", he says.

Even Parrikar, who always firmly stated that he will be the future chief minister, said he would like to address the issue later and declined to comment following developments later in the afternoon today.

Incidentally, Parrikar had given an indication earlier in the morning that the party may capitalise upon his (Parrikar's) good image as the chief minister to woo the voters, like how the BJP had projected Vajpayee as the prime minister in the last Parliament polls.

Incidentally, Shripad had made his debut in active politics in 1994 as the legislator by defeating Ravi, then the chief minister, in the neighbouring Marcaim constituency. Later, Ravi had defeated Shripad in Parliamentary elections in the short-lived Lok Sabha.

After he was defeated in the 1999 Assembly polls from Marcaim, Shripad was then elected as the MP, becoming the union minister of state rank.

Though it is not confirmed whether his resignation has not been accepted by the prime minister, Shripad said it is a tradition of the BJP to resign as the union minister to enter state politics.

He appears to be confident of winning the seat by defeating the party's former deputy chief minister while also expecting all the anti-Ravi forces to mobilise around him.


goanews.com is now on Telegram & also Youtube. Kindly subscribe for free & remain updated.


Drop a comment

Enter The Code Displayed hereRefresh Image


Assembly '02