BJP Routs Congress in Goa
Cashing-in on the anti-incumbency factor in a big way, the BJP-MGP combine on Tuesday rode to power in Goa, ousting the Congress and securing majority in a House of 40 members, nearly half of whom will be new faces.
While the BJP won in 21 assembly constituencies, seven more than last time, Maharashtrawadi Gomantak Party raised its tally from two in the last polls to three seats in the 3rd March assembly election results for which were declared on Tuesday.
The Congress, which had 16 seats last time, was reduced to nine seats with many of its stalwarts, including several ministers and Goa Pradesh Congress Committee President Subhas Shirodkar, biting the dust.
Its ally NCP, which had three seats last time, was wiped out.
Four members of influential Alemao family Churchill, Joaquim, Valanka and Yuri, who were given tickets by Congress-NCP alliance lost.
Several ministers including Churchill Alemao, Joaquim Alemao, Manohar Asgaonkar, Nilkant Halarnkar, Jose Philip DSoza, Filip Nery Rodrigues, Aleixo Sequira and Ravi Naik lost the elections.
So pronounced was the wind of change, that 19 new faces were elected this time.
Goa Vikas Party managed to win on two seats including Nuvem, where party supremo Miccky Pacheco emerged victorious, and Benaulim where its Caetan Silva managed to defeat Congress' Valanka Alemao.
Four of the five independents Benjamin Silva (Velim), Avertan Furtado (Navelim), Naresh Sawal (Bicholim) and Rohan Khaunte (Porvorim), wrested seats held by Congress, while Vijay Sardesai (Fatorda) snatched it from BJP.
Manohar Parrikar, who spearheaded the BJP's charge on the illegal mining issue and is tipped to be the next chief minister, won from Panaji, defeating Congress' Yatin Parekh by over 5,000 votes.
BJP spokesman Vishnu Surya Wagh, who won in St Andre constituency, said that people have voted for change.
He said the two allies will meet to decide when to stake claim to form the government.
"It is a statement by the people that they want a clean government. It's our responsibility to give good governance," he said.
Vishwajit Rane, former health minister from Congress, said that it is collective responsibility of the party.
"We can't blame one or another, this or that factor. It was responsibility of individual candidates to win their seats," he said.
In Salcette, which is a Congress bastion, Congress won two seats out of eight.
BJP, which had fielded several Catholic candidates, managed to get a hold in Salcette.
Catholic candidates like Matanhy Saldanha, Michael Lobo, Glen Ticlo, Carlose Almeida defeated stalwarts.
Congress' Goa chief Subhas Shirodkar suffered defeat at the hands of BJPs Mahadev Naik in Shiroda constituency.
Meanwhile, Goa Chief Minister Digambar Kamat on Tuesday resigned following the humiliating defeat of Congress in the assembly election.
Even as counting for two constituencies, Saligao and Taleigao, was still on, Kamat met the Governor in Panaji and submitted his resignation.
"I accept the verdict of the people and we are ready to sit in the opposition," Kamat said.