Goa Election 2017 Results: Congress races ahead of BJP with 17 seats, post-poll alliances to play definitive role
Goa has a history of hung Assemblies. Thursday's exit polls had projected a hung assembly in Goa, with BJP likely to lead the table.
BJP got a landslide victory in Uttar Pradesh and Uttarakhand, but faced a setback in Goa on Saturday. After a neck and neck fight, Congress emerged as the single largest party with 17 seats and the ruling BJP was contained to 13 seats. However, both the parties failed to cross the majority mark of 21 seats. While AAP did not open its account in the tiniest state, it is the smaller parties and the Independent candidates that will now play a major role in deciding the political fate of Goa.
The Aam Aadmi Party (AAP), which made its debut in Goa, faced a humiliating defeat in the state. Reports suggest that the Congress may stake claim to form the next government with the help of NCP, MGP and Goa Forward Party.
National general secretary of the Congress party Digvijaya Singh has said that the Congress party will make every effort to form the next government by joining hands with other parties (MGP, NCP and GF) in case of a hung Assembly in Goa. He further said that the party will conduct a meeting and take the final call. He added that in case of an alliance, the chief minister will still be from the Congress party.
Potential Goa kingmaker Vijay Sardesai of Goa Forward Party, which won three seats, told CNN-News 18, "Congress can't take us for granted, we'll support them. Need to see how our party can grow. Will take stock of final numbers this evening."
Ajay Jha writes for Firstpost: "BJP was aware that ineffective and inefficient Parsekar would not be able to steer the party to victory. Even its alliance partner Maharashtrawadi Gomantak Party (MGP) knew it when it snapped ties with BJP after its demand to replace Parsekar as chief minister was overruled. Probably it was too late and replacing a chief minister just before election would have sent the wrong signal. And for this very reason, BJP decided against seeking votes in the name of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who limited his association with Goa polls to a mere rally that he addressed in Panaji and spoke barely for 30 minutes, which must have been the shortest rally that he has ever addressed..."
The incumbent chief minister Laxmikant Parsekar lost from Mandrem by over 3,000 votes, while his deputy Francis D'Souza won from Mapusa. He submitted his resignation to the governor on Saturday. Another BJP leader and prospective chief ministerial candidate Michael Lobo won from Calangute constituency.
Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar said that the party will stake claim if they get enough support. "We are all responsible for the fractured mandate," he said during a press conference on Saturday.
From the Congress camp, the Leader of Opposition Pratapsingh Rane has won from Poreim. Former chief minister Digambar Kamat won from the Margao constituency, while Congress candidate Dayanand Sopte defeated the incumbent chief minister in Mandrem.
Three exit polls Axis My India, C-Voter and MRC had given the BJP an edge over its competitors. It had projected 15 to 22 seats for the party, followed by Congress. MRC predicted 15 seats for BJP, 10 for Congress and AAP seven. Meanwhile, C-voter had predicted that 18 for the BJP and six for Congress.
The voting for the Goa Assembly Election 2017 concluded on 4 February. According to the Election Commission's estimates, 83 percent of Goa’s registered 11.09 lakh voters exercised their right.
Apart from the ruling BJP and main Opposition party Congress, Maharashtrawadi Gomantak Party (MGP), Shiv Sena and the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) were in the fray. The RSS’ breakaway faction Goa Suraksha Manch (GSM) and Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) made their debut in this election.
In 2012 Goa Assembly Election, the BJP in alliance with MGP had won comfortably by defeating the Congress in 24 out of 40 seats. BJP won 21 seats while the MGP won three seats. The Congress won nine seats with NCP. BJP MLA Frances D Souza won with maximum margin of votes. Goa Vikas Party and Independents managed two and five seats respectively. Right after the election, the Cortalim seat had to go for bypolls following MLA Mantanhy Saldanha’s death. It was the first time that BJP had won in a significant number of constituencies that had dominant minority population.
Addressing the foundation day of the All India Mahila Congress, Gandhi said that the ideology of the Congress was completely opposite of the BJP-RSS and only one of the two ideologies can rule the country.
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This is set to be a big blow for the Congress in the state ahead of the Assembly polls due early next year
The Ministry of External Affairs in a one-line communique, which reached the secretariat during the day said the "event is not commensurate for (attendance at) the level of the chief minister," a secretariat official said.