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Saturday, Aug 24, 2019

Election results: Kingmakers who might play a key role in forming Goa government

With Goa electing a hung assembly, both the Congress and the BJP now trying to woo smaller parties and independents to their side

assembly-elections Updated: Mar 12, 2017 18:21 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times, Panaji
BJP supporters celebrating outside a counting centre in Panaji after announcement of election results on Saturday.
BJP supporters celebrating outside a counting centre in Panaji after announcement of election results on Saturday.(HT File Photo)

With the BJP needing eight seats to reach the magic figure of 21, and the Congress four short of a majority, smaller parties and independents now hold the key to government formation in Goa.

Here is the list of possible kingmakers:

Sudin Dhavalikar

Party: Maharashtrawadi Gomantak Party

Seats : 3

A self-described “Chanakya” of Goa politics, Dhavalikar has been part of every state government, be it led by the BJP or the Congress, since 1998.

The MGP was part of the BJP-led coalition government from 2012 to 2016. But he broke away last year to form an alternative saffron alliance comprising the MGP, the Shiv Sena, and the newly formed Goa Suraksha Manch.

He would support a BJP-led government, he told the HT.

Sudin Dhavalikar of the Maharashtrawadi Gomantak Party.
Sudin Dhavalikar of the Maharashtrawadi Gomantak Party. ( HT Photo )

Vijai Sardesai

Party: Goa Forward Party

Seats: 3

A former president of the Goa Pradesh Youth Congress, Sardesai successfully contested the 2012 assembly elections as an independent candidate. Joined the debutant Goa Forward Party after he was denied a Congress ticket for the 2017 elections at the last minute.

Now with three crucial seats in his kitty, he is looking to drive a hard bargain, but is likely to swing towards the BJP.

Churchill Alemao

Party: Nationalist Congress Party:

Seat: 1

In 1990, Churchill Alemao was Chief Minister for 18 days. Since then, his political journey has been marked by frequent changing of sides from Congress to non-Congress parties.

Rohan Khaunte

Party: Independent

Seat: 1

A businessman-cum- politician, Khaunte is a two-time MLA, winning as an independent in 2012 and again in 2017.

In December last year, he published a long op-ed in the local papers, titled “Why I will not join the BJP”, suggesting the Congress has his support.

Govind Gaude

Party: Independent

Seat: 1

A popular tribal leader, Gaude garnered support from the BJP and informal endorsement from the Aam Aadmi Party leaders to defeat Deepak Dhavalikar, brother of MGP leader Sudin Dhavalikar.

While his campaign was backed by the BJP, he could swing either way.

Prasad Gaonkar

Party: Independent

Seat: 1

An independent legislator from Sanguem’s tribal community, Gaonkar is believed to be close to Congress leader Digambar Kamat.

First Published: Mar 12, 2017 17:16 IST

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