PANAJI: Goa Deputy Chief Minister Vijai Sardesai has said late Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar's son Utpal is the right person to carry forward his fathers legacy in the Panaji assembly constituency.
The Panaji assembly constituency was represented by Manohar Parrikar for long and a bypoll is being held on the seat following his death last month.
Utpal Parrikar is being rumoured to be the BJP's candidate from Panaji, where by-election is slated on May 19.
However, Utpal Parrikar is yet to publicly speak about contesting from the constituency won by his father multiple times since 1994.
Sardesai, whose Goa Forward Party (GFP) is a partner in the BJP-led ruling coalition, maintained it is up to Utpal Parrikar to decide if he wants to contest the bypoll.
"I am of the opinion that Parrikar's legacy has to be kept alive but by whom is the question," Saresai told reporters Thursday when asked whether he supports Utpal Parrikar's candidature for the Panaji bypoll.
"First is whether Utpal is interested... if he is interested then certainly he becomes the rightful heir to his father's legacy," the deputy chief minister added.
However, Sardesai said the final decision on candidature has to be taken by Parrikars family and the BJP.
On Thursday, Utpal Parrikar told PTI he has been asked by the BJP to campaign for its candidate in the North Goa Parliamentary constituency.
The BJP has fielded its sitting MP Shirpad Naik from North Goa, the constituency under which the Panaji assembly seat falls.
"Basically, the party has said I should be campaigning for the Lok Sabha elections in support of party candidate Shripad Naik.
"As of now, I will be going around the Panaji assembly constituency to campaign for the BJP Lok Sabha candidate," he said.
Utpal Parrikar refused to comment when asked if he would be interested in contesting the Panaji by-election.
The elder son of Manohar Parrikar stayed away from politics when his father was alive.
On March 30, Utpal Parrikar, along with his younger brother Abhijaat, had issued a statement saying they would take ahead the legacy of their father.
Meanwhile, the Congress Friday said the process to shortlist probables candidates for the Panaji by-election will begin in the next couple of days.
"There are several credible leaders in the party who can contest from the Panaji assembly seat and win.
The partys Election Committee will consider all such names," Goa Congress chief spokesman Sunil Kawathankar told PTI.
The process to shortlist probable candidates for the Panaji by-election will begin in the next couple of days, he said.
Polling for the two Lok Sabha seats and three Assembly bypolls in Goa will be held on April 23.