GOA: 40 seats, hung House
Goa has once again put its fate in the hands of regional parties. The Congress won a bare majority of 21 in 1999, and the BJP won the same number of seats in 2012; before that, in the elections of 1994, and in between, in 2002 and 2007, split verdicts produced coalition governments, with regional parties being the kingmakers. This time, the Congress’s tally of 17 has left it 4 short of majority, and needing the support of some among Vijai Sardesai’s Goa Forward Party (3 seats), Maharashtrawadi Gomantak Party (3 seats), Nationalist Congress Party (1 seat), and 3 Independents.
While Congress heavyweights Luizinho Faleiro, Digambar Kamat, Pratapsing Rane, Ravi Naik, Churchill Alemao (now with the NCP) have all won, the voteshare of the party has fallen from 30.78% to 27.8%, having conceded some ground to the Aam Aadmi Party. The BJP’s share remains largely unaffected — the 34.68% from the last time is down only a little to 33%.
The MGP, Goa’s first ruling party after the Portuguese left, has gained from ending its alliance with the BJP. For the first time since the 1970s, it contested 25 of the 40 seats this time, and has doubled its voteshare from 6.72% to 11.7%.
The GSM, focussed on promoting Marathi and Konkani in schools over English, has been rejected — it has got 1.2% of the vote, the same as NOTA.
The big loser
The hype over AAP and its apparent garnering of the silent vote has fallen flat: it has won 6.3% and no seats, its CM candidate Elvis Gomes has come in fourth at Cuncolim, and most of its other candidates have suffered a similar fate. While AAP cannot be written off after its debut election, it probably has to begin at the grassroots — with the panchayat and municipal polls.
Should the Congress manage the support to form the government, it will be a consolation — albeit small — for it. The BJP’s bid to govern from Delhi by remote control has not gone down well. The core BJP voter sees Manohar Parrikar as Chief Minister. U-turns by Laxmikant Parsekar’s government on action on the Shah Commission report on illegal mining and on the medium-of-instruction policy, and its refusal to remove casinos from rivers, has had an impact. Parsekar has himself lost.