Goa Chief Minister and BJP leader Manohar Parrikar has won a sixth term as MLA, winning the bypoll to Panaji, defeating Congress’s Girish Chodankar by a margin of 4,803 votes. Chodankar secured 5,059 votes while Parrikar won with 9862 votes. In Valpoi, former Congress MLA Vishwajit Rane won by a huge margin of 10,066, defeating Roy Naik of the Congress and gaining another seat for the BJP.
During the counting, that began at 8 am on Monday, Parrikar took the lead from the first round itself. At the end of round one, Parrikar had secured 4290 votes while Congress’s Girish Chodankar won 2252 votes. At the end of round two, Parrikar’s votes shot up to 9204, while Girish Chodankar’s tally stood at 4684, giving Parrikar a lead of 4520 votes. In round three, Chodankar won 375 votes while Parrikar won 658. Two other candidates in Panaji – Anand Shirodkar representing GSM and Kenneth Silveira, an Independent, won 220 and 96 votes each. There were 301 NOTA votes.
Parrikar, speaking after the victory, said he will resign as Rajya Sabha MP next week. He currently represents Uttar Pradesh in the Upper House.
In Valpoi, Roy Naik of the Congress secured 1576 votes in the first round, while Rane of the BJP secured 5395 votes. In round two, Naik won 1309 votes while Rane won 5081 votes. In the third round of counting, Naik won 2502 votes while Rane won 4208 votes. In the final round, Naik won 714 votes while Rane won 1483 votes. The final tally – Vishwajit Rane won 16,167 votes while Roy Naik won 6101 votes. RS Gaonkar won 316 votes while 454 were NOTA.
In the bypoll that took place on August 23, Panaji saw a voter-turnout of 70 per cent with 15,538 people casting their votes, while Valpoi saw a voter-turnout of 79.80 with 23,038 people casting their votes.
The bypolls to the seats of Panaji and Valpoi were necessitated after its representatives – Siddharth Kuncalienkar and Vishwajit Rane – resigned from their seats within weeks of winning the election. Kuncalinekar resigned so as to enable Parrikar contest and continue as chief minister, while Rane, a former Congress MLA, resigned as he was ‘frustrated’ with the party not being able to form government despite emerging as the single-largest party. Rane is currently Health minister in the BJP government.