GOA: BJP secures 20 seats, set to form govt

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Fadnavis said that the party would not poach a single Congress MLA in its bid for power this time round, adding that the swearing-in of the new government would be held in co-ordination with party leaders in three other states…reports Asian Lite News

 Handicapped by anti-incumbency and infighting, a wide split in opposition votes may have paved the way for the BJP to form a government in Goa, with the party winning 20 seats in the February 14 state assembly polls.

According to Bharatiya Janata Party’s Goa election in-charge Devendra Fadnavis, the party had already secured letters of supports from five newly elected MLAs, including three independents and two from the Maharashtrawadi Gomantak Party, which would take the ruling party and its associates beyond the crucial 21 mark in the 40-member state legislative assembly.

The Congress and the Goa Forward party which contested the polls in alliance won 11 seats and one seat each respectively, even as the Aam Aadmi Party won two seats, Revolutionary Goans, a debutant regional party won one seat. The Trinamool Congress failed to win a single seat in the polls.

“Three independent candidates have extended support to the BJP. We had said yesterday that even if we win 21 seats, we will take some more people along with us. In keeping with the assurance, these three independents and the MGP have given letters of support to the BJP. They are going to be with us,” Fadnavis told a press conference in Panaji.

The BJP leader also said that the party would not poach a single Congress MLA in its bid for power this time round, adding that the swearing-in of the new government would be held in co-ordination with party leaders in three other states in which the party also won the polls as well as the state leadership, adding that considering the comfortable nature of the mandate in Goa, there was no need to hurry to stake claim to power.

The BJP was facing severe anti-incumbency as well as severe infighting in its ranks in the run-up to the polls, which led to several rebellions. The most high profile rebels were former BJP CM Laxmikant Parsekar and Utpal Parrikar, former Defence Minister late Manohar Parrikar’s son, but both lost as independent candidates from Mandrem and Panaji assembly constituencies respectively.

Congress senior observer for Goa P. Chidambaram said that the split in the opposition ranks had given the BJP advantage in the polls.

“The overwhelming majority voted against the BJP but those votes were split across many parties which gave the BJP the opportunity to win 20 seats,” Chidambaram told reporters. State Congress president Girish Chodankar has offered to resign over the debacle.

Congress MLA and former Ports Minister in the BJP-led coalition government Michael Lobo said that the Congress lost as many as seven seats because of the split in opposition votes.

“Congress lost seven seats because of the split. We did not expect such a split in votes. People of Goa wanted a major change, but they voted for different parties,” Lobo said.

The Trinamool Congress which failed to win a single seat said in a statement: “We accept this mandate with all humility. We commit ourselves to work harder to earn the trust and love of every Goenkar. No matter how long it takes, we will be here and we will continue to serve the people of Goa”.

The Aam Aadmi Party made its debut in the state assembly with two wins namely Venzy Viegas from Benaulim and Cruz Silva from Velim.

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