Goa Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar bagged Panaji Assembly seat for a sixth term, winning the by-election “comfortably” by 4,803 votes in the results announced on Monday. With Health Minister Vishwajeet Rane, who had won the election earlier this year on a Congress ticket before going over to the BJP camp, retaining Valpoi, the ruling coalition now has 23 MLAs — an easy majority in the 40-member House.
Post-victory, Parrikar said at a press meet at the BJP’s headquarters: “There was no stress on the government, but obviously numbers count in democracy and governance. So now it is 14 (BJP) plus three plus three plus three.. .it is 23-strong. It’s a comfortable victory.”
Besides three Independents, the BJP has three members each of Goa Forward Party and Maharashtrawadi Gomantak Party in the ruling alliance. Calling it a “strong result”, Parrikar said numbers will give a boost to the government’s “moral strength”, and dilute the Congress’s claims that the ruling party does not have mandate.
The Congress pointed out that Girish Chodankar, who polled 5,059 votes in Panaji, got the most votes against Parrikar in all elections the CM has won from the constituency since 1994.