Split in opposition votes helped BJP in Goa: Chidambaram


The BJP is already in talks with winning independent candidates as well as the Maharashtrawadi Gomantak Party to make up for the minor shortfall in the required numbers, reports Asian Lite News

Accepting the verdict against the Congress, which managed to win only just 11 seats in the 40-member state assembly, the party’s senior observer in-charge of Goa polls P. Chidambaram on Thursday said that while the people of Goa wanted change, their votes were split amongst the opposition parties.

“We accept the verdict of the people of Goa. Our candidates fought a good election, fought bravely, fought against several obstacles and 11 of our candidates and one of our ally Goa Forward party won. People have voted the BJP to power and we accept that and we wish the people of Goa very well,” Chidambaram told a press conference in Panaji.

Chidambaram went on to give a detailed explanation to underline the importance of split in the opposition votes in the victory of the BJP, which has won 20 seats in the 40 member state assembly, where 21 is the magic figure. The BJP is already in talks with winning independent candidates as well as the Maharashtrawadi Gomantak Party to make up for the minor shortfall in the required numbers.

“The first thing that is very clear is the people of Goa wanted a change but in their voting behaviour they could not bring about a change. I say this because the winning party, the BJP got only a little over 33 per cent of votes. 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 said.

“Although we communicated the message that if you want change, vote for the Congress, do not split the votes among other parties, we accept that this message was perhaps not communicated as effectively as it should have been,” he said.

“That message was heard by all Goans but they reacted differently and voted largely for the Congress party and also voted for other parties especially the new entrants to the electoral field in Goa. As a result the non BJP votes were divided and in some cases hopelessly divided which gave the BJP a free pass to victory in that constituency,” he further added.

Chidambaram also had a word of praise for the young candidates (more than 70 percent of the Congress candidates were fresh faces) fielded by the Congress.

“These young clean, educated candidates, many of whom were contesting for the first time, put up a splendid performance. We are disappointed they lost. We have told them that this is the best opportunity for you to stay firmly with the party, build the party and begin the fight for the next election from tomorrow. And many of them will begin the fight for the next election from tomorrow,” Chidambaram said.

‘BJP started preparations for 2027 polls’

The BJP has already started preparing for the 2027 Assembly polls in Goa, by beginning with the post mortem of its inability to reach the party’s target of 22-plus seats in 2022, Chief Minister Pramod Sawant said.

Sawant also described himself as a soldier of the BJP, who was given the opportunity to lead the party’s charge in the February 14 assembly election in capacity as a general, but added that the party’s central parliamentary board would finalise the candidature of the BJP’s legislative party leader for Goa soon.

“We had said 22-plus in 2022, I am concerned about why we could not reach that number. We lost two-three constituencies with close margins like Mandrem and St. Andre and Siolim. We will be analysing our mistakes. We have already started preparation for 2027 elections from now,” the Chief Minister said.

He also denied claims made by the Congress that the BJP won because of a split in the opposition votes.

“We got no advantage from a vote split,” Sawant said.

Sawant also shied away from taking the spotlight in wake of the party’s performance against odds, crediting Prime Minister Narendra Modi and the party’s policies for the win.

“I am not saying I brought the numbers. The BJP did it. Modi was the face. And the election was conducted under his leadership and we got an opportunity. I am a BJP soldier and the party gave me an opportunity to fight the battle as a general… The results are a feedback of the work done over the 10 years of BJP governance and during my three year tenure,” he said, adding that the BJP will lead a stable government for the next five years.

Sawant also said that the party would give a “pro-people, transparent and corruption-free” government in Goa.

The BJP has won 20 seats in the 40 member state assembly, where 21 is the majority mark. The party has already received letters of support from three Independent MLAs and the two members of the Maharashtrawadi Gomantak Party.

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