Semi-final boomerangs on Govt: BJP & allies lose 11 seats

GOANEWS DESK, PANAJI | 20 March 2015 19:26 IST

The semi-final to 2017 Assembly election, played on party-lines through Zilla Panchayat elections, cost dearly to the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party with its ministers and MLAs, including Chief Minister Laxmikant Parsekar, losing eight precious seats out of 34 it contested.

Similarly, the anti-government brunt was also faced by the BJP’s coalition partners – Mickky Pacheco’s Goa Vikas Party as well as independent MLA Benjamin Silva, taking the toll to 11 out of total 50.

The ruling coalition however could form its own ZP committees in both North and South Goa as they have enough number as it would be very difficult to mobilise all the ‘independents’ on their side.

The ruling coalition also could not make any inroads into the Assembly segments of other MLAs, except that Mickky’s GVP won a seat in Raia in the Curtorim Assembly segment, where Congress MLA Aleixo Reginald Lourenco had not fielded any candidate.

The humiliation faced by the BJP was across the length and breadth of Goa, from Pernem to Canacona and Mormugao to Bicholim talukas.

The ruling bigwigs who could not retain their hold are like this:

  1. 1. Laxmikant Parsekar (Chief Minister): BJP MLA lost Morjim but won Arambol in his Mandrem Assembly constituency.
  2. 2. Rajendra Arlekar (Speaker):  BJP MLA lost Dhargalim, but managed to retain Torxem in Pernem Assembly constituency.
  3. 3. Alina Saldanha (Environment Minister): BJP MLA lost sole Cortalim seat to Antonio Vaz, candidate of Ramponkarancho Ekvott, once headed by her husband Matanhy Saldanha.
  4. 4. Mahadev Naik (Industries Minister): BJP MLA lost Shiroda by only 262 votes to Jaideep Shirodkar, who was secretly supported by their ruling coalition partner MGP. However, he managed to retain Borim seat.
  5. 5. Ramesh Tawadkar (Sports Minister): BJP MLA lost Khola, but managed to retain Poinguinim in a tough battle with Cong-supported Pranali Bhat, in Canacona Assembly constituency.
  6. 6. Mickky Pacheco (RDA Minister): GVP’s Nuvem MLA lost Nuvem to independent candidate Babashan alias Wilfred D’Sa, who is emerging as a potential threat to Mickky in the next Assembly election.
  7. 7. Vishnu Wagh: The firebrand rebel BJP MLA of St Andre lost his sole St Lawrence ZP constituency to Cong MLA Pandurang Madkaikar’s brother Dhaku Madkaikar.
  8. 8. Pramod Sawant: Another BJP-loyalist Dr Pramod Sawant lost its Pali seat, but managed to retain Karapur-Sarvan in his Sankhli Assembly constituency.
  9. 9. Rajan Naik: Cuncolim BJP MLA lost Girdolim, its sole ZP constituency to Congress-backed candidate Minaxi Gaonkar.
  10. 10. Caitu Silva: Former Benaulim MLA Churchill Alemao resurrected by defeating GVP MLA’s candidate Hannibal D’Costa. Incidentally, the winning candidate Maria Rebello was also indirectly supported by Mickky while Caitu had opposed her.
  11. 11. Benjamin Silva: Independent Velim MLA Benjamin Silva, supporting the BJP-led government, lost his sole Velim ZP constituency to independent Mancy Rodrigues.

 

Fisheries Minister Avertan Furtado was allotted only Navelim where he did not field any candidate while Davorlim was given to the BJP. The party won the seat, but lost Davorlim.

In spite of being in power for the last three years, the BJP however could not make inroads into any other Assembly constituency, held either by the Congress or the independents like Rohan Khanute and Naresh Sawal.

The Maharashtrawadi Gomantak Party, on the other hand, retained all its seats in Ponda, Madkai and Priol Assembly segments.

In addition, the MGP’s secretly supported independent candidate – Jaideep Shirodkar, managed to defeat industries minister Mahadev Naik’s official BJP candidate – Nagu Kavalekar.

If this ZP election was considered the semi-final to the 2017 Assembly election, then it is a clear-cut warning bell to the ruling party, which had swept the Assembly poll in 2012, with a Parivartan wave. 

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