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Elections 2014: Trends favour BJP in Goa

By Hemant Abhishek | Last Updated: Friday, May 16, 2014 - 01:34

Hemant Abhishek

The Modi wave seems to have worked its magic in Goa as well, as the Bharatiya Janata Party looks all set to better its 2009 tally. The Congress suffered due to infighting and tried hard to put up a brave front in face of the BJP onslaught.
A majority of exit polls have predicted either a wipeout in favour of the BJP; however, a few others suggest that status quo might be maintained in the beach state and Congress might manage to wrest one of the two seats—who wins which seat is anyone`s guess.

The trends suggest that the BJP could manage to affect a positive outcome in its favour while the Congress suffered as its candidates had to brave infighting and depletion of their traditional vote-bank.
Both the Lok Sabha seats of the picturesque beach-state went to polls on April 12. The Congress and the BJP have one sitting MP each on the seats of North and South Goa, but one could not risk guessing the final outcome due to the possibility of a three-horse-race with the Aam Aadmi Party throwing its hat into the ring.

For the North Goa seat, sitting BJP MP Shripad Naik faced-off with Congress` former chief minister Ravi Naik who faced alleged charges of corruption in the run up to polls. Naik and his son Roy were indicted in the State Legislative Assembly`s house committee report for allegedly sheltering Israeli drug lord Yaniv Benaim alias Atala. Congress party had said that Naik`s indictment was discussed in the Central Election Committee (CEC) meeting which resolved that since there was no evidence against Naik, it did not disqualify him from contesting the polls. The BJP looked to encash this issue and Goa spokesman Dr Wilfred Mesquita had said the best way to say `No` to drugs was by not voting for Naik.

The Aam Aadmi Party had fielded Dr Dattaram Desai from the seat. The Congress had promised to offer a solution to the vexed drug mafia issue in its election manifesto. The party had also listed special status, solution for crisis faced by people with dual nationality, besides law and order situation on the top of its manifesto.

On the Christian-dominated South Goa seat, instead of reinvesting its faith in sitting MP Cosme Francisco Caitano Sardinha Congress fielded Aleix Reginaldo Lourenco and the latter faced off with BJP candidate Narendra Savaikar. Congress` decision to field Laurenco has come under severe criticism from within party ranks. Senior party leader Churchill Alemao quit the party to contest from a Trinamool Congress ticket. The contest further heated when Shalom Sardinha—the distraught son of sitting MP Francisco Sardinha filed his nomination from the seat as an independent candidate. The infighting helped Savoikar`s numbers.

In the 2012 polls held for the 40-member Goa Assembly, BJP won 21 seats, INC won 9 seats, Maharashtrawadi Gomantak won 3 seats, Goa Vikas Party won 2 seats and 5 seats went to Independent candidates. The BJP alongwith the Maharashtrawadi Gomantak Party came together to form the government. They had a clear majority and BJP leader Manohar Parrikar was nominated as the Chief Minister.

Polling was held on 1,622 polling stations of the two seats on April 12 and May 16 is when the ballot shall pronounce the fate of the candidates.

First Published: Thursday, May 15, 2014 - 18:33

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