After contesting the election as an Independent candidate in the Panaji assembly segment, Utpal, son of the former Goa chief minister the late Manohar Parrikar, said that he has experienced first-hand the immense bond of love shared between local people and his father.
Goa voted in a single phase on February 14. The contest for the Panaji segment was one of the highlights of the elections. Utpal contested as an Independent candidate after the ruling BJP denied him a ticket and instead fielded sitting MLA and Congress turncoat Atanasio Monserrate from Panaji.
“Over the last month or so I have moved around Panaji extensively and during this time I had the opportunity to interact with many of you and can now feel a sense of why my father, the late Manohar Parrikar felt such an immense sense of love, attachment and pride about Panaji and Ponjekars (Panaji residents),” Utpal said in his post-poll message released on various social media platforms on Tuesday.
Late Parrikar represented the Panaji constituency six times since 1994 when he had wrested the segment from Congress for the first time.
Utpal said that he is "greatly humbled" by the experience after receiving such tremendous support from across Panaji for the election.
“I thank each and every Ponjekar who voted for me and blessed me with their unflinching support. I also take this opportunity to thank all my supporters and the volunteers who worked tirelessly throughout the campaign often using their own resources and for not bowing down to pressure from various vested interests,” he said.
Utpal had centred his campaign on the twin promise of making Panaji a modern and smart city and to "restore its vibrancy and lost glory".
The constituency houses the Goa Secretariat, offices of all major departments, the Chief minister's residence, and consulates. A large part of the constituency has commercial areas.
Referring to his “critics and detractors”, Utpal stated, “I say Thank You for having spurred me to put in even more effort to be the best version of myself and for strengthening my resolve to pick up the baton from where my late father left it to ensure that his vision and dream for Panaji is realized.”
Goa on Monday registered a very high voter turnout of 78.94 per cent in the election marked by multi-cornered contests for a total of 40 seats.