Goa Deputy Chief Minister Vijai Sardesai said on Thursday that late Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar’s son Utpal Parrikar is the right person to carry forward his father’s legacy in the Panaji Assembly constituency. A bye-election for the Panaji seat, which became necessary following Parrikar’s death on March 17, will be held on May 19.

“I am of the opinion that Parrikar’s legacy has to be kept alive but by whom is the question,” the Goa Forward Party leader told reporters according to PTI. “First is whether Utpal is interested...if he is interested then certainly he becomes the rightful heir to his father’s legacy.” However, Sardesai added that a final decision on Utpal Parrikar’s candidature will be taken by his family and the Bharatiya Janata Party.

Sardesai also asked his party colleague Atanasio Monserrate to introspect before contesting the Panaji seat, The Times of India reported. Monserrate has announced that he will quit the Goa Forward Party before standing for election to the Panaji Assembly constituency.

Utpal Parrikar said on Thursday that the BJP had asked him to campaign in the North Goa Lok Sabha constituency. “Basically, the party has said I should be campaigning for the Lok Sabha elections in support of party candidate Shripad Naik,” he said. “As of now, I will be going around the Panaji Assembly constituency to campaign for the BJP Lok Sabha candidate.” However, he refused to confirm if he would contest from Panaji.

Meanwhile, Goa Congress chief spokesperson Sunil Kawathankar told PTI that the party’s election committee for the state will decide the candidate for the seat.

Polling for the two Lok Sabha seats and three Assembly constituencies in Goa will be held on April 23. Votes will be counted on May 23.