Spate of resignations, defections by leaders continue unabated ahead of Goa elections

Most of the defections have taken place as legislators are keen to safeguard their political and personal gains.

Published: 12th January 2022 11:26 PM  |   Last Updated: 12th January 2022 11:26 PM   |  A+A-

Former Goa Minister Michael Lobo

Former Goa Minister Michael Lobo (Photo | ANI)

Express News Service

BELGAVI: A spate of resignations in the last few weeks from members of Goa legislative assembly and the way several top leaders are switching parties ahead of the February 14 assembly elections in the coastal state have created an unprecedented situation.

In an attempt to bolster their prospects in the coming polls, at least nine MLAs resigned their seats in the state assembly to join other parties in the last few weeks.

Given the volatile political situation in Goa, more leaders and legislators are expected to resign or change sides once the BJP and Congress release their final list of candidates.

Most of the defections have taken place as legislators are keen to safeguard their political and personal gains.

"A major reason as to why the legislators are putting in their resignations is that the BJP and Congress are not so keen on fielding all their sitting MLAs in the coming polls. In a desperate attempt to get the party ticket to them and their associates, the leaders are switching sides, making sure that their demands are met by the party they are joining,'' says a  senior journalist from Goa Prakash Bhat.

While the defection of some leaders may not have any impact on the prospects of their parties, mainly BJP and Congress, in the forthcoming elections, several political analysts feel the quitting of a few of them could definitely impact the parties' expectations and equations.

The switchover of Minister in CM Pramod Sawant cabinet, Michael Lobo to the Congress is expected to spoil BJP's chances of winning maximum seats in Bardez taluk, North Goa district, where Lobo enjoys a massive clout across the seven assembly segments of the taluk.

A two-time MLA from Calangute assembly segment, Lobo was the strong minority-face of the BJP in Goa and enjoys a massive support of people in Bardez.

"Lobo is one of the richest legislators in Goa capable of helping the party perform better in his taluk. He is said to have joined the Congress, assuring to help the party win a maximum number of seats in Bardez. The Congress is said to have promised party tickets to him and his wife besides some of his associates in the seven assembly segments in Bardez," says political analyst Kishore Naik Gaonkar.

A section of Congress party leaders in North Goa is upset over induction of Lobo in the party as they feel they could be deprived of the party ticket.

Sources in Congress said that efforts were on to convince the disgruntled leaders ahead of the polls. In Bardez where BJP has three seats in its kitty, Lobo's exit with election round the corner could put the saffron party in a spot.

However, sources said, the parties' election results in the several constituencies in Bardez region also depends largely on the candidates to be fielded in the fray by the parties eventually.  

Challenging Task For BJP

The BJP which had merely 13 seats in the assembly after the 2017 elections eventually managed to form the government by roping in several legislators from other parties.

"The trouble is brewing in BJP as it faces a tough task to balance between the 'outsiders' and the loyal party leaders in the process of allotment of party tickets. As to how it will satisfy both the sections remains to be seen with several noted and loyal party leaders waiting with fingers crossed for party tickets. The BJP must be in a dilemma on the issue of allotment of tickets and that may be the reason as to why it is yet to announce its list of party candidates,'' say top sources.

If the highly placed sources are to be believed, the BJP could drop 50 per cent of its sitting legislators and field new faces as most of the sitting MLAs have failed to retain their seats in most of the elections held in Goa in the last few decades.

The BJP leadership, headed by former Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis is experimenting a different process to choose the consensus candidates for some assembly segments.

The party activists in Panaji and some other assembly segments were made to write their choice of candidate on a piece of paper and the party decided to select the candidates based on their choice.

"A large number of party activists have submitted paper chits to the party writing names of candidates but the party leadership is expected to ultimately field the candidates of its choice,'' said a leader.

Chief Minister Pramod Sawant has said the party would allot most of its tickets to the candidates after January 16. He said at a meeting of party activists at Porvorim that the party would finalise its tickets on the suggestions of party activists and the list of aspirants would be sent to the Parliamentary Board of the party which would have a meeting on January 16. Dr Sawant expressed confidence that his party would win all the seven seats in Bardez taluk comfortably.


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