Goa Forward Party (GFP) vice president Atanasio Monserrate Wednesday resigned from party membership after he was denied ticket to contest from Panaji assembly byelection. Monserrate announced that he would contest as an Independent in the May 19 bypoll, which is necessitated by the death of chief minister Manohar Parrikar in March this year. The GFP, headed by Vijai Sardesai, is a constituent in the BJP-led state government. "I have resigned from GFP. They had asked me not to contest since the party is in alliance in the state government. I will contest as Independent candidate," Monserrate said.
In the assembly elections held in 2017, Monserrate had lost to BJP's Siddharat Kuncolienkar by mere 1069 votes from Panaji constituency, which has been the bastion of Parrikar since 1992 when he got elected as MLA for the first time. Reacting to the development, Sardesai said, "I had made it clear that the party would not like to contest the bypoll. I had also said that if Parrikar's son Utpal is interested to contest then he is the rightful heir to carry forward the legacy of his late father," Sardesai said.
(With inputs from agencies.)