Sunday 14 July 2024

News Analysed, Opinions Expressed

Politics | Assembly '99

Not Cong, BJP is the real gainer


Inspite of gaining absolute majority after 14 years, the Congress has not gained much in Goa elections this time. The real gainer is the Bharatiya Janata Party, which literally swept the polls and emerged as the main opposition party by winning 10 seats.

The simple statistics indicates that the Congress gained by only 2 per cent compared to ’94 polls when it had polled 37 per cent but only 18 seats. On the contrary, the BJP has risen from 9 per cent to 26 per cent this time while also increasing its strength from four to 10 in the House.

Setting a new trend for the first time in Goa’s political history since 1963, both the national parties have however literally wiped out the regional outfits, including the Maharashtrawadi Gomantak Party, which had ruled the state initially for 17 years.

While winning only four seats including the comeback of former union minister Ramakant Khalap, the MGP was pushed by the Goan electorate to mere 15 per cent from its strength of 22 per cent and 12 seats in the last polls.

Even their stalwarts like former chief minister Shashikala Kakodkar, party chief Surendra Sirsat, general secretary Dharma Chodankar and former opposition leader Kashinath Jalmi had to face miserable defeat, besides 11 seats they had gained last time among the 12.

Similar is the position of the United Goans Democratic Party and the Goa Rajiv Congress, whose pre-poll plan to tie up with the MGP to form a regional front failed. Both these parties could not cross 6 per cent each while also winning only two seats each, including GRC leader Dr Wilfred de Souza, traditionally a Congressman.

"Regional parties should wind up their shop now", feels Pratapsing Rane, the former Congress chief minister and arch rival of de Souza. He had joined the Congress in 1977 leaving the MGP, through which he had entered the political arena.

Khalap however disagrees with him. Rather than winding up, he prefers to look at the disastrous results of his party as an eye opener and introspect. "It is our organisational failure", he admits as his party organisation had ceased to function for last 15 years but was winning with its traditional vote bank.

The BJP, with the well-knit organisational set-up of the sangh parivar, precisely exploited this situation to win over MGP’s Hindu vote bank while also making inroads into Congress bastions. Among the eight new seats they have won, three also belong to the Congress traditionally.

But the Congress leaders refuse to admit the fact. "It is people’s verdict and we respect it", says Luizinho Faleiro, the Goa PCC chief. But people’s response to the attempts of the Congress to condemn BJP’s communal designs appear to have started slowly diminishing, threatening Goa’s secular base.

The backward trend of the Congress seems visible in the election results. Its record of 41 per cent in ’89 polls (though they had won only 19 seats with a hung Assembly) is still the lower despite achieving wafer-thin majority of 21. In fact it lost its seven constituencies this time.

"Our chances were spoiled due to rebellion within", claims Faleiro. But the GRC led by de Souza, the break-away Congress group, spoiled their prospects only in three constituencies including two won by the GRC, besides one won by Poinguinim Congress rebel Isidore Fernandes.

On the contrary, the Congress won almost seven seats by bravely facing challenge of the GRC, including three of their former MLAs - Carmo Pegado, Fatima D’Sa and Manu Fernandes. The Congress however lost its Siolim seat to the BJP due to GRC candidate Chandrakant Chodankar, the former MLA. is now on Telegram & also Youtube. Kindly subscribe for free & remain updated.

Verification Code Enter The Code Displayed hereRefresh Image



Assembly '99

» Cong gains majority, ...
» Electronic counting, fate ...
» EVMs thrill villagers, ...
» 'Silent' voting tomorrow ...
» Hung Assembly inevitable ...
» "I will live ...
» Voter has a ...
» Sonia attacks Pawar ...
» Cong manifesto promises ...
» Willy aide joining ...