Shripad Naik, three-time MP and BJP candidate for the North Goa parliamentary seat, who is also the Union Minister of State for AYUSH (Independent Charge), on Friday, filed his nomination papers before the district returning officer, at North Collectorate, Panaji.
Naik was accompanied by Chief Minister Pramod Sawant, state BJP president Vinay Tendulkar, Fisheries Minister Vinod Palyekar and Rural and Minister for Ports Jayesh Salgaonkar.
Sawant and Salgaonkar proposed the name of Naik as he filed the nomination papers while the senior BJP leader Dayanand Mandrekar filed nomination papers as a dummy candidate.
Earlier in the day, Naik along with his supporters visited Mahalaxmi temple and Our Lady of the Immaculate Conception church in the city to seek blessings.
Speaking after filing his nomination, Naik expressed his confidence in retaining the seat even with a bigger margin of votes compared to the last election. When questioned whether the pending mining issue could create trouble for him during this election, Naik said, “We have genuinely tried our best to resolve the issue and people are very much aware of the steps taken by us. And, people know that it is we who will resolve it.”
Naik said that there was no question of BJP candidates struggling against anti-incumbency factor as he claimed that it doesn’t exist in Goa.
Further commenting on his opponent Congress candidate Girish Chodankar, he said that “we (BJP) never take our opponent lightly. We respect the opposition, let him fight by being within the purview of rules. My appeal is just that he should not resort to the negative campaign against me.”
Chief Minister Pramod Sawant said that people of North Goa are with Naik as they have seen the development work carried out by the BJP government in the state and at the Centre.