Thursday 20 June 2024

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Politics | Assembly '99

Cong gains majority, BJP main opposition


The Congress has ultimately succeeded in establishing a wafer-thin majority of 21 in the 40-member Assembly while the Bharatiya Janata Party has emerged as the main opposition party with 10 seats, wiping out all the three regional parties.

AICC general secretary Madhavrao Scindia is rushing to Goa tomorrow morning, after which the CLP would meet and elect its leader. "It is a clear signal for the coming general elections that country is going to stand by party supremo Sonia Gandhi", claims Ramesh Chennithala, the AICC secretary.

The Maharashtrawadi Gomantak Party in the meanwhile is reduced to only four, including former union minister Ramakant Khalap, getting elected along with two former legislators and one new face.

Former opposition leader Dr Kashinath Jalmi, former chief minister Shashikala Kakodkar and the party chief Surendra Sirsat, also the former MLA, were among the prominent MGP leaders who had to face miserable defeat.

The Goa Rajiv Congress and the United Goans Democratic Party could not score more than two each, including GRC leader and former CM Dr Wilfred de Souza. Both the parties however played a major role in reducing Congress strength.

Only one seat has gone to independent, Isidore Fernandes, who was the Congress rebel from Poinguinim. Though he pushed down Congress candidate and former minister Vasu Paik Gaonkar to third position, he is now likely to support the Congress government, increasing its strength to 22.

Luizinho Faleiro, the Goa PCC chief and former chief minister, however admits that his party could have easily gained comfortable majority if not the rebellion and other constraints. Some of the rebels had also joined regional outfits, out of whom at least two have won elections as the MGP and the GRC candidate.

Describing the victory as a clear cut mandate in favour of the Congress and its leader Sonia Gandhi when the country is going for Lok Sabha polls, Faleiro has assured that the party would not have a cabinet of more than six, as assured in the manifesto.

Though Faleiro as well as Pratapsing Rane, another former chief minister, have left the decision on the leadership issue to the high command and the legislature party, at least four more Congress leaders - Ravi Naik, Churchill Alemao, Francisco Sardinha and Dayanand Narvekar - have told the media that they are also in the race.

The curious game would begin now with six leaders in the race for the CM’s post, while the cabinet itself would not go beyond six. Dr de Souza, on the other hand, has shown inclination to join the Congress, with which the Congress could have a smooth sailing by having 23 members in the House.

The BJP undoubtedly made major inroads this time increasing its strength from four to 10 in the House, but at the cost of losing their chief ministerial candidate Shripad Naik to a new entrant of the MGP. Except two former legislators, the rest eight of the BJP are new faces.

At least five former chief ministers, including de Souza, are among the ones elected, besides 22 former legislators including 11 ministers, most of them belonging to the Congress. It also includes one former speaker of the Congress and 16 new faces, most of which belong to the BJP and the Congress.

Among the defeated are former speaker Tomazinho Cardoz as well as 25 former legislators including 12 former ministers. Inspite of defections being a major issue in Goa during this election, several politicians having history of defections are elected.

While Rane feels the mandate is clearly in favour of the national parties and the regional parties should wind up their shop, MGP leader Khalap prefers to look at it as an eye opener and is planning to take concrete steps in this regard. is now on Telegram & also Youtube. Kindly subscribe for free & remain updated.

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Assembly '99

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