The BJP’s chief ministerial candidate, Mr Manohar Parrikar shakes hands with his supporters after he was declared winner from the Panaji constituency on Tuesday.
PANAJI/MARGAO: The Bharatiya Janata Party-led alliance that emerged victorious in 26 constituencies would stake a claim before the Governor, Mr K Sankaranarayanan on Wednesday to form the next government in the state.
Senior Bharatiya Janata Party leader and party’s chief ministerial candidate, Mr Manohar Parrikar said that the BJP legislators would meet on March 7 afternoon to elect their leader, following which a meeting with the alliance partners would be held. The group would then meet the Governor.
Meanwhile, in the best ever show since it came into limelight in 1994, the Bharatiya Janata Party won a clear majority on its won by securing 21 seats, while its alliance partner the Maharashtrawadi Gomantak Party won another three. Two other independent candidates supported by the BJP also won.
For the Congress, the results of the March 3 general elections in the state came as a rude shock as people returned only nine of its nominees. The outgoing ruling party put up its poorest show since 1977. It managed to win just four seats in South Goa, which was said to be its bastion.
The Bharatiya Janata Party stamped its popularity in the North Goa district by winning 13 of the 23 constituencies, while its alliance partner, the Maharashtrawadi Gomantak Party won three others and Congress won five seats; two other seats were won by the independents. In South Goa BJP won in eight of 17 constituencies, while two independents supported by it also won.
The Congress party suffered the worst ever defeat at the hands of the Bharatiya Janata Party in any previous elections in North Goa as it could win just five seats from among 23 located in the district. Its ally, the Nationalist Congress Party failed to win even a single seat.
Mr Manohar Parrikar (BJP) pulled off his biggest victory with a margin of over 6,000 votes by securing 11,086 votes against Mr Yatin Parekh of Congress who managed to get only 5,018 votes. Mr Ramakrishna Dhavalikar (MGP) also won by a huge margin of over 7,200 votes from Marcaim constituency.
The Congress party can, however, have some solace of having done better than South Goa district, where the party used to win most of its seats. The party’s figures in North Goa in the 2012 general elections is less than the previous worst figure of seven in 2002, when the party was under the onslaught of a BJP wave.
Such was the surge of the saffron brigade that many of Congress stalwarts, including Home Minister, Mr Ravi Naik, Panchayat Minister, Mr Manohar Azgaonkar, Mr Dayanand Narvekar, Mr Agnelo Fernandes and Mr Subhash Shirodkar lost the elections by huge margins at the hands of candidates of BJP and the Maharashtrawadi Gomantak Party combine. The only saving grace for the Congress was provided by Mr Pratapsing Rane, Mr Vishwajit Rane, Mr Pandurang Madkaikar, Mr Atanasio Monserrate and Ms Jennifer Monserrate, who managed to win by a comfortable margin.
After having lost eight seats continuously to the BJP ever since the counting began on Tuesday, the senior Rane won the first seat from North Goa for his party. Thereafter, others followed and the last seat was won for the Congress by Ms Monserrate.
Mr Azgaonkar lost to Mr Rajendra Arlekar of BJP in Pernem by a margin of over 8,000 votes. So also Mr Narvekar, who lost to Mr Glen Ticlo (a new face) by 3,476. Mr Ravi Naik lost his Ponda constituency to Mr Lavu Mamledar by a margin of 3,190 votes.
The narrowest margin by which the Congress-NCP combine candidate lost was in Tivim, where Mr Nilkanth Halarnkar (NCP) lost by 1,112 votes, while the highest margin was in Mapusa where Mr Ashish Shirodkar of NCP lost to Mr Francisco D’Souza by a margin of 10,169, the highest in the state.
Mr Vishnu Wagh contesting the first ever election as BJP candidate pulled off a stunning victory over Mr Francisco Silveira of Congress, winning by over 1,200 votes. In Sanquelim it was a sweet victory for Dr Pramod Sawant, who avenged the defeat in the by-election to erstwhile Pale constituency to Mr Pratap Gawas of the Congress.
Mr Subhash Shirodkar of Congress lost to his one-time personal assistant, Mr Mahadev Naik (BJP), for the second time in a row, while Mr Michael Lobo of BJP defeated Mr Agnelo Fernandes (Congress). Mr Anant Shet retained his Maem seat. Mr Pandurang Madkaikar (Congress), however, managed to win by 2,100 votes.
Of the 17 seats at stake in the South Goa district, the Congress managed to win only four while the BJP came away with eight seats for the first time in electoral history of the party. It had held five seats in the outgoing Assembly. Independents ruled the roost with five making it to the Assembly.
In a damning blow to the Digambar Kamat government, all five ministers in South Goa lost with the Chief Minister managing to hang on to his seat. The Goa Vikas Party led by Mr Francisco (Mickky) Pacheco came out trumps winning the two seats of Nuvem and Benaulim. The Alemao family suffered its worst rout, losing all the four seats contested by it. The PWD Minister, Mr Churchill Alemao tasted defeat at the hands of a newcomer, Mr Avertano Furtado
Misery began to pile on the Congress as counting progressed when Urban Development Minister, Mr Joaquim Alemao, who was banking on development works undertaken by him, had to bite the dust. His defeat was ensured by a combination of the BJP candidate, Mr Rajan Naik, who polled 7738 votes and Independent candidate, Mr John Monteiro who grabbed a large chunk (4830 votes) of anti-Joaquim votes.
His niece Ms Valanka Alemao became the second member of the family to take a drubbing in Benaulim which was wrested by Mr Caetano Silva of the Goa Vikas Party who left her trailing by 2,001 votes when the results were declared. Ms Alemao could not believe her loss but put up a brave face when she told the media that family raj was not the cause of her defeat. In Sanguem, Yuri became the third Alemao to taste defeat, by a slender margin of over 500 votes.
Mr Mickky Pacheco once again proved that he is a force to reckon with when his party won two hotly-contested seats of Benaulim and Nuvem, where Power Minister, Mr Alexio Sequeira went down by a huge margin. Mr Pacheco polled a mammoth 12,288 votes in a straight contest to win by a margin of over 4,000 votes. The Cortalim constituency returned Mr Matanhy Saldanha to the Assembly, thanks to division of votes among the GVP candidate, Ms Nelly Rodrigues and NCP candidate, Mr Ramakant Borkar. Mr Saldanha returns to the House after a break of five years. His victory is a setback for Mr Mauvin Godinho who worked hard to ensure that his candidate, Mr Caetano Xavier was given the ticket.
In Canacona, Mr Ramesh Tawadkar of the BJP defeated Mr Isidore Fernandes of the Congress by a convincing margin, thanks to the support of Mr Vijay Pai Khot who was denied a ticket after his constituency was merged with Poiguinim which was represented by Mr Tawadkar. Mr Fernandes’ loss is a setback for Mr Vishwajit Rane who campaigned for him.
Another minister to bite the dust was Mr Jose Philip D’Souza of the NCP who lost to Mr Carlos Almeida of the BJP by a huge margin in Vasco. With his loss the NCP has been wiped out from South Goa.
The victory of independent candidate, Mr Vijay Sardessai came as a surprise as a split in votes was expected to favour the BJP candidate, Mr Damu Naik. In the end it was a straight fight with the Congress candidate, Mr M K Shaikh unable to pose any challenge to Mr Sardessai or Mr Naik. Mr Babu Kavelakar proved that he still calls the shots in Quepem when he won by a margin of over 5,000 votes, leaving his opponents far behind. This will be his third term in the assembly.