PANAJI: With regional parties and Independent candidates bagging ten seats in Goa Assembly, the Congress and the BJP now will have to hinge up on them to form the new government. The poll results threw a hung Assembly--with the opposition Congress emerging as the single largest party with 17 seats, followed by BJP with 13 seats in the 40-member house.
Four former Congress chief ministers - Digambar Kamat, Pratapsinh Rane, Ravi Naik and Luiznho Falerio - emerged victorious in the polls.
Besides the humiliating defeat of Chief Minister Laxmikanth Parsekar, who lost by over 7,000 votes, six BJP ministers too fell by the wayside.
The Maharashtrawadi Gomantak Party (MGP), the Goa Forward Party and the Independents won three each while the NCP bagged one seat. Prior to elections on February 4th this year, the MGP had severed itself from BJP which was its poll ally in the 2012 Assembly elections.
With both the BJP and Congress beginning to calculate the possibilities of forming the government in Goa, Union minister Manohar Parrikar held a meeting with BJP members while Congress’s Digvijay Singh met the winning candidates and party members in Panaji.
Political analysts see the results as a setback for the BJP and a mandate for the Congress. Despite the presence of star campaigners including Prime Minister Narendra Modi and other BJP central ministers during election rallies, BJP could nowhere come closer to a winning majority in the coastal region. The Defence Minister Manohar Parikkar’s magic too failed to charm the voters in the State.
"In the situation of a fractured mandate, everyone is in the run to form the government. We are also there. If the BJP acts like a core group and brings together smaller parties, we can still give a stable government," Parikkar said.
Apart from the anti-incumbency mood, it is believed that issues such as the saffron brigade’s inability to fight against growing casino industry and pulling out of the MGP from the ruling alliance contributed to the BJP's defeat.