Ajith Vijay Kumar
The land of sun and sand Goa is stunning, and it has further stunned pollsters by the almost 83% voting recorded in the Assembly Elections 2012.
The Opposition BJP is smug in the belief that the huge turnout is a’ vote for change’, while the ruling Congress feels that it is a ‘positive vote’ in favour of the development works carried out by the Digamber Kamat government.
Several polling booths clocked an extremely high voting percentage with several booths clocking above 85 percent, while one polling station in Valpoi assembly segment in North Goa recorded 92 percent voting.
However, most calculations on the way Goa Assembly election results 2012 will turn out have predicted a neck-to-neck race between the BJP and the Congress to win 21 seats out of the 40 Assembly seats in the state.
Take for example the India TV-C-Voter exit poll projected BJP getting 20 seats followed by Congress with 17. Others were shown emerging victorious in three seats.
While the BJP is hoping that its last minute alliance with the old powerhouse the Maharashtrawadi Gomantak Party will hold it in good stead – at least help in eating into Congress’ vote share in a couple of constituencies.
Interestingly, the MGP was with the Congress till a month back and now has embraced the saffron flag.
The Congress on the other hand has created a record of sorts by handing over one-third of the seats to the members of influential political families. Leading the pack is none other than Congress’ senior most leader in the state Pratapsingh Rane who has managed a ticket not just for himself but also for his son. The other big time ticket winners have been the Churchill brothers not just secured tickets for themselves but also for their children.
And not to forget one man armies like that of Babush Monserrate, who has also managed to secure a ticket for his wife. While he is contesting from Santa Cruz in near the state capital Panjim, his wife is testing the political waters from his pocket borough Talegao.
Importantly, the exit polls have once again highlighted the fact that the evident lack of stability in Goa to a large extent is a consequence of the small size of the legislature, thereby making even a single seat important in the final calculations.
Add to that the riches of the state which far exceed its size, the draw of power becomes quite irresistible.
BJP is hoping that its IITianManoharParrikar will do the trick, especially after the party changed course this time around and gave tickets to a sizeable number of catholic candidates.
The Lotus appears all set to bloom by the Mandovi but will it be able to survive the summer onslaught is the big question.