Wednesday 26 September 2018

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Politics | Lok Sabha '99

BJP humiliates ruling Cong, wins both seats

 

After beginning with mere two per cent in 1984 in the Lok Sabha polls, the Bharatiya Janata Party has finally made it, polling over 51 per cent votes.

Goa's major opposition party has won both the seats, within three months of the Assembly polls held in June, making the ruling Congress face a humiliating defeat.

In the North Goa, it is 55 per cent for the opposition and only 36 per cent for the ruling party. South is little better for the Congress, polling 42 per cent, but still less than 48 per cent polled by the BJP.

Was it a victory of the BJP alone or the dissident Congressmen, a question however yet remains to be answered.

"I expected it", admits chief minister Luizinho Faleiro, while not denying that not expanding the cabinet could be one reason for such results.

Shripad Naik, the MP-elect from North Goa, however claims that it is a clear sign of the BJP's increasing popularity in the state. He has even demanded Faleiro's resignation, owing moral responsibility.

Though Faleiro flatly refuses to step down claiming that it is a verdict to rule Delhi and not Panaji the fact cannot be denied that the Congress could retain only two Assembly segments in the North and seven in the South.

It goes totally against merely three-month old Assembly verdict when the Congress had won nine seats in the North, besides having two more now - with MGP's Ramakant Khalap and UGDP's Suresh Parulekar joining the ruling party.

Congress was much better in the South, winning 12 seats on its own while MGP's Prakash Velip and UGDP's Jose Philip joining the Congress camp, besides independent MLA Isidore Fernandes supporting the ruling party.

But the trend appears to be not so much in contravention to what happened in 1998 Lok Sabha polls, when the BJP had emerged as the main opposition to the Congress, sidelining both the regional outfits - the MGP and the UGDP - while also defeating then seating MPs - Khalap and Alemao.

NORTH GOA



But Khalap, who expected the MGP's traditional voters to add to his victory in addition to the Congress votes, could poll hardly 6701 more votes than what he had personally polled last year (61,536) against former Congress MP Ravi Naik (68,219).

The BJP, on the contrary, increased its votes by 37,159 while winning the seat by a comfortable margin of 36,721 votes. This is despite a fact that Pandurang Raut - the MGP MLA - who had then contested as the BJP candidate, supported Khalap this time.

Khalap's defeat turns out to be so miserable that he could score a lead only in his own Mandrem constituency (175) against the margin of 1110 he had secured just three months ago. Even Pernem and Dargalim voters, whom he was relying upon, deserted him.

Suresh Parulekar is the only MLA came to his rescue securing him the lead of 999 votes in Calangute. It was otherwise the BJP in all other areas which the Congress had won in June – Pernem, Dargalim, Tivim, Taleigao, St Cruz, St Andre, Cumbarjua, Valpoi and even Pratapsing Rane's Poriem.

The reason was visible in the counting hall itself in Panaji, where not a single Congressman could be found, including the ministers, the MLAs and even the party functionaries. Even the campaign committee chairman Ravi Naik was conspicuously absent.

The BJP, on the other hand, retained all its five Assembly seats in the North, while also securing lead over Khalap even in the strongholds of the Nationalist Congress Party – Saligao and Mapusa.

Dr Wilfred de Souza's NCP candidate could not even touch the 5000 mark, forget saving his deposit. Comparatively, CPI's Christopher Fonseca (6105) fared much better, standing third in the race.

SOUTH GOA



As far as South Goa is concerned, Faleiro himself admits now that Adv Uday Bhembre would have been the formidable candidate compared to Joaquim Alemao (91,607), who was projected as the'winnable' candidate. He did not succeed in crossing the magic figure of one lakh.

This happened inspite of Dr de Souza, the NCP candidate here, losing his deposit by polling only 10,529 votes, much more less than what was expected of him. More than de Souza, the anti-Alemao factor perhaps played a major role in defeating the Alemaos.

The biggest setback for him was obviously Salcete, where he could not poll (43,695) more than what former Congress MP Francisco Sardinha had polled alone (45,841) last year, keep aside 42,051 polled by Churchill Alemao.

In spite of low voters turnout in Salcete, BJP's MP-elect Ramakant Angle polled 23,153 this time, against only 18,717 last year. The Congress thus could not get the margin of more than 20,000 , against the lead of 27,124 last time.

In fact, except a reasonable lead of 6071 in Faleiro's Navelim and 5764 in Alemao's Benaulim, no other Congress stronghold in Salcete could save Alemao from losing, including Sardinha's Curtorim (margin of 3982), which had given huge margin of around 7600 to the Congress last time.

In addition, the ruling party lost all three Assembly segments in Mormugao taluka to the BJP in spite of having its MLAs in Cortalim, Mormugao and Vasco. The Congress lead last time got reversed this time with the BJP securing a margin of 4889.

Ponda taluka however turns out to be a decisive factor for Angle's victory. The BJP increased its margin here from 14,637 to 21,710 – a difference of over 7000, which got added to his crucial margin of 14,457.

In fact Prakash Velip, a new entrant - elected by the MGP but joined the Congress later - is the only person who could muster a lead of around 1500 in Quepem Assembly segment, besides six Catholic-dominated segments in Salcete.

Alemao obviously did not get enough support in the segments held by the Congress in the Assembly today, like Ravi Naik's Ponda, Subhash Shirodkar's Shiroda, Shaikh Hassan's Mormugao, Jose Philip's Vasco, Mauvin Godinho's Cortalim, Luis Alex Cardoz's Fatorda, Sanjay Bandekar's Canacona and even Isidore Fernandes' Poinguinim.

The BJP, on the other hand, besides retaining its lead in all the five segments, also overscroed the MGP in Marcaim, where Shripad Naik was defeated miserably by Sudin Dhawalikar (MGP) in this year's Assembly polls.






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