Panaji: Hoping to gain some traction from the AAP`s massive victory in the Delhi assembly election, an independent candidate, IITian Samir Kelekar, has claimed personal endorsement from AAP legislator and fellow IITian Somnath Bharti.
Addressing a press conference here Thursday, Kelekar, a product of the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Bombay, exhorted voters in the Goa capital to do what voters in the national capital did a few days ago: "Vote out the Congress and the BJP."
"Yes, you can recreate the Delhi magic," claimed Kelekar, who is a software expert by profession and has a doctorate from the prestigious Columbia University in the US.
Bharti, in an email, which Kelekar flaunted at the press conference, said: "I have known Samir for years. He is a fellow IIT alumnus. We have worked together on several social issues over the years. He is non-corruptible and a person of integrity. I believe he is the right candidate for Panaji, someone who will take up the cause of the `aam aadmi`."
Bharti is an alumnus of IIT-Delhi.
The Panaji bypoll Feb 13 was necessitated after the elevation of then chief minister Manohar Parrikar as defence minister in November last year. Parrikar had won the state capital seat on five occasions in the past.
Four candidates are now contesting the bypoll, which includes Parrikar`s former aide Sidharth Kunkolienkar (BJP), an engineer by profession, current mayor Surendra Furtado (Congress) who is a businessman, and two independents -- Kelekar and lawyer Sadanand Vaingankar.
A total of 22,057 voters are eligible to cast ballot in the bypoll.