Goa elections: AAP declares Amit Palekar as CM face

Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) national convener Arvind Kejriwal announced the name of Amit Palekar, a lawyer who later became a politician, has been named as the party’s chief ministerial candidate in Goa’s upcoming assembly elections.

A prominent lawyer, 46-year-old Palekar will contest the February 14 Goa assembly elections from St Cruz constituency which covers Palekar’s village, Merces. Announcing the party’s CM candidate in Panaji, Kejriwal said it chose an “honest man”. “We promised to give Goa a chief ministerial candidate whose heart beats for Goa and who is willing to give his life for Goa. Amit Palekar is the one who is ready to even give his life for Goa. He is an honest man,” Kejriwal said.

Palekar, who joined the AAP in October, 2021, is making his debut in electoral politics. Since Kejriwal announced in November that the party would choose someone from the Bhandari community as its CM candidate, his name has been floating about. Palekar is from the Other Backward Classes (OBC) community in Goa.

As a lawyer, Palekar handled several prominent cases, including defending former minister Francisco “Mickky” Pacheco, who was on the run from the police in connection with the death of his family friend Nadia Joelle Torrado, who died by suicide in 2010. More recently, Palekar represented liquor licence holders, who were battling the Supreme Court’s order banning sale of liquor in the vicinity of national highways. He also represented one of the parties demanding better healthcare facilities during the peak of the second Covid-19 wave in Goa in May last year.

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