No smooth sailing for Parsekar in Goa

The BJP won just 13 seats and Parsekar, 60, lost to Congress' Dayanand Sopte from Madrem constituency by over 7,000 votes.

Panaji: Laxmikant Parsekar, outgoing Chief Minister and one of those leaders instrumental in establishing the BJP in Goa, could not keep the party flag flying in the tiny coastal state.

The BJP won just 13 seats and Parsekar, 60, lost to Congress' Dayanand Sopte from Madrem constituency by over 7,000 votes.

He was the face of the BJP-led government during the last two-and-a-half years after his predecessor Manohar Parrikar was elevated to the union cabinet.

Though he managed to keep up the pace of development set by Parrikar during his tenure, he was not projected as chief ministerial face this time by the party which contested in 36 seats.

The four-time legislator from Mandrem constituency is a teacher by profession and also runs an educational institute in his village of Parsem.

Parsekar along with Parrikar, former Forest Minister Rajendra Arlekar and Union AYUSH Minister Sripad Naik was one of the founder members of BJP when the party was almost non-entity in the state.

In 2014, when Parrikar was made the Defence Minister, Parsekar was chosen to head the party in the State assembly though another leader Francis D'Souza had protested against his appointment.

The tenure of Parsekar was embroiled in controversy after his statement against women who were protesting demanding regularisation of their services.

Parsekar was quoted as asking them not to protest in the scorching sun as they will turn dark decreasing the possibility of getting a good groom.

In yet another statement, Parsekar was quoted as terming disabled people as 'mistake of god'.

His political career is marked by severe struggle but his loyalty to the party is unquestionable. He plunged into politics in 1988 when he fought against MGP candidate Ramakant Khalap from Mandrem constituency but lost.

Again in 1999, he fought from the same constituency and lost. Undeterred by the setback that he faced during the decade of electoral politics, he contested again in 2002 and defeated MGP candidate by a thin margin of 750 votes.

Since then he never looked back. In 2007, he doubled his victory margin and won again in 2012.

Parsekar was BJP Goa unit president during 2012 elections when the party saw unprecedented wave in their favour. He was inducted in the Parrikar-led cabinet and was given crucial health portfolio.

( Source : PTI )
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