BJP wins Goa, gets support of MGP and 3 Independents

Published on Mar 10, 2022 07:47 PM IST

The ruling Bharatiya Janata Party secured a narrow victory in Goa, overcoming a wave of anti-incumbency sentiment

Goa chief minister Pramod Sawant (right) with Devendra Fadnavis and Bharatiya Janata Party state president Sadanand Shet after the party’s victory on Thursday. (ANI Photo)
Goa chief minister Pramod Sawant (right) with Devendra Fadnavis and Bharatiya Janata Party state president Sadanand Shet after the party’s victory on Thursday. (ANI Photo)
ByGerard de Souza

PANAJI: The ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has claimed to have received the support of the Maharashtrawadi Gomantak Party (MGP) and three Independents and will stake claim to form the government after approval from the party’s parliamentary board, Devendra Fadnavis said on Thursday after the party won 20 out of the 40 assembly seats in the 2022 assembly elections.

The opposition Congress won 11 seats in the polls held on February 14. The Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) has opened its account with two seats, while the MGP that was hoping to play kingmaker got two seats. The Revolutionary Goans Party and the Goa Forward Party won one seat each. Three Independents also won in the polls.

Speaking to the media, BJP Goa in-charge Fadnavis said the state would now experience a ‘double engine’ government.

“The people of Goa have given a good win for the BJP. I heartily thank the people of Goa. This victory is dedicated to PM Narendra Modi, because he has started a chain of confidence throughout the country, which is why we are in four states... Three Independent candidates have expressed support to the BJP. We said yesterday (March 9) that even if we win 21 seats, we will take some more people along with us. Apart from three Independents, the MGP has also given a letter of support to the BJP. They are going to be with us. We are thankful to the MGP and the three other candidates, and will form a government with a good majority of 25,” Fadnavis said.

While the BJP claimed the support of the three Independents, only Dr Chandrakant Shetye, who won after defeating BJP candidate and Speaker of the outgoing assembly Rajesh Patnekar, has publicly expressed support to the BJP, but former Congressman Reginaldo Lourenço said he will first consult with his workers, while Antonio Vas did not comment on who he wishes to support.

With the party securing a narrow majority, Fadnavis said they will take it slow when it comes to meeting the Governor. “Now, there will be a meeting of the central parliamentary board. A central observer will be appointed. He will come to Goa either today or tomorrow. There will be a legislature party meeting, after which we will meet the Governor. Because we have a majority, we do not need to run around,” Fadnavis said.

Meanwhile, the Congress said that it respects the mandate of the people “unlike what some other parties did back in 2017”.

“We accept the verdict of the people. We respect the verdict of the people unlike some other party which did not do the same,” Congress senior observer P Chidambaram said.

The ruling BJP has secured a narrow victory in Goa, overcoming a wave of anti-incumbency, after a divided opposition meant that the anti-BJP vote split ensured a victory for the BJP in 20 out of the 40 assembly constituencies. The BJP, which has been in power in the state for 10 years, successfully navigated the opposition onslaught, with the Congress having to depend on several first-time candidates because most MLAs that won in previous elections defected to the BJP. Close to 60% of the MLAs in Goa assembly defected to other parties in the past five years.

The BJP won with a vote share of 33.3%, while the Congress won 23.46%, around 5 percentage points lower than 2017 when they had won 28% vote share. The MGP won 7.26%, AAP won 6.77%, and the Trinamool Congress 5.21%. However, ‘Others’, which included the Revolutionary Goans Party and Independents, got 19.33% vote share.

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