Goa Polls: BJP Faces Uphill Task In Absence Of Parrikar

In the absence of the former state Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar, Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) is facing an uphill task in Goa to retain power as Congress tries to regain lost ground and the new entrants of the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) and Trinamool Congress making the polls a multi-corner contest. Parrikar was credited to have been the architect of the rise of the BJP in Goa.

Notably, this is the first electoral fray for the BJP without Parrikar. However, Utpal Parrikar, his son, is seeking to carry the legacy of his father in the Panaji Assembly constituency as an Independent candidate. After the BJP refused to give him the ticket.

Manohar Parrikar represented the Panaji Assembly seat. He had resigned from the BJP after Utpal Parrikar was denied a ticket from the Panaji Assembly constituency.

The Panaji Assembly seat has its own importance in the electoral politics of the state. Former Union Minister for Defence Manohar Parrikar, who had represented Panaji, had been a three-term Chief Minister of the state.

Goa BJP which corresponds to senior leader Manohar Parrikar is contesting against his son and has fielded Congress party turncoat Atanasio “Babush” Monserrate from the Panaji seat. Monserrate had joined the BJP along with nine other MLAs in 2019 from Congress.

Goa witnessed intense electioneering by top leaders of the various political parties. Senior Congress leader P Chidambaram along with the AICC in-charge Dinesh Gundu Rao canvassed in Goa, seeking votes for works carried out by the Congress-led governments in the past, slamming political rivals for hampering the welfare of the people in the state.

Goa Pradesh Congress Committee President Girish Chodankar also posted a video message for voters in Goa. He recalled works done by the Congress-led government in the past in the state.

Similarly, several candidates of the BJP, Congress and TMC along with other political parties posted video messages, highlighting the developmental works carried out by them in their respective constituencies.

In particular, BJP is contesting Goa polls on all the 40 assembly seats for the first time and fielded Chief Minister Pramod Sawant from the Sanquelim seat against Congress’ Dharamesh Saglani.

Meanwhile, AAP national convenor and Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal also promised cash assistance for every woman above the age of 18 years and other benefits for many communities if his party came to power in the state.

Shiv Sena who is also contesting the Goa polls, highlighting the model of good governance in Maharashtra and pitching for its replication in all other states.

Goa Assembly has a strength of 40 members out of which the BJP currently has 17 legislators and enjoys the support of MLAs from Maharashtrawadi Gomantak Party (MGP), Vijay Sardesai of the Goa Forward Party (GFP), and three independents. The GFP and MGP each have three MLAs, and Congress, on the other hand, has 15 MLAs in the house.

The intense poll campaigning by all the political parties for 40 Assembly seats in Goa concluded on Saturday evening.

The counting of votes in poll-bound Goa will take place on March 10. (ANI)

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