The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) Goa is set to commence the campaign for the ensuing 2024 Lok Sabha polls with a public gathering by Union Home Minister Amit Shah at Farmagudi on April 16.
The party has also ruled out the possibility of an alternate face for the North Goa seat amid speculations to replace the sitting parliamentarian.
No alternate candidate for North Goa
“The public meeting is the launch of the Lok Sabha campaign. Union Minister Amit Shah will also interact with our State leaders and the committee members for Lok Sabha,” BJP State President Sadanand Shet Tanavade told reporters after a BJP core committee meeting held in the party headquarters in Panaji on Monday.
The committee has also reportedly not shown any inclination to propose an alternate candidate for North Goa as speculations were rife that Tanavade is staking a claim for 2024.
“There is no point in raising questions over the candidate. We have our leader in North Goa who is winning the polls for the last five terms and is working for the people,” Tanavade said.
BJP trying to replace sitting MP Shripad Naik
Sitting MP Shripad Naik, who also holds a Cabinet berth in the Narendra Modi government, said the names for polls are not decided and if any names are doing the rounds, these were rumours.
In an interview with The Goan last month, Naik had admitted that “someone” in BJP is trying to replace him. He however refrained from naming the aspirant stating, “I am aware that some things are happening behind my back but my appeal to them is that you should not indulge in dirty tricks. It is not my father’s property… If someone wants to contest the Lok Sabha polls, follow the procedures… I have dedicated myself to the cause of the people and the nation, not for my selfish interest. If there’s any attempt against the interest of the party, it is the party’s loss.”
The upcoming polls will be Naik’s sixth election with the senior most leader serving as an MP for 25 years.
CM to be the star campaigner
Chief Minister Pramod Sawant will be the star campaigner while Health Minister Vishwajit Rane, MLAs Ulhas Tuenkar and Daji Salkar, ex-MLA Siddharth Kuncalienkar; and Premanand Shet will visit their allotted constituencies for campaigning.