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Congress, NCP set to form government in Goa

They emerge as the largest combine in a fractured verdict in the polls to the 40-member state assembly.

india Updated: Jun 06, 2007 03:32 IST

Congress and NCP on Tuesday were set to retain power in Goa after emerging as the largest combine in a fractured verdict in the polls to the 40-member Goa assembly bagging 19 seats, just two short of a majority.

The two parties, which were expected to form the government with the support of smaller parties and independents, had entered into a pre-poll alliance and had put up candidates depending on their election propects.

While Congress got 16 seats, two short of its previous tally of 18 in the outgoing House, NCP cornered three, gaining one seat.

The main opposition BJP failed to increase its strength, securing just 14 seats it had, while the rebel Congress leader Churchill Alemao's party - the Save Goa Front - bagged two seats. Another regional party, the Maharashtrawadi Gomantak Party also got two seats, one more than in the past, and independents won the remaining two.

Chief Minister Pratapsinh Rane's son, Vishwajit, who won as an independent candidate, has already announced that he would support the Congress, taking the tally to 20, just one short of the majority.

The one seat required for the majority could come from either the MGP, which was already part of the outgoing Rane government or from the other independent Anil Salgaonkar, who won from Sanvordem seat.

The BJP has virtually conceded defeat, with its leader Rajiv Pratap Rudy saying the party had failed to get the expected number of seats.

The Congress has announced that its newly-elected legislators would meet to chalk out the future course of action. Indications are that outgoing Chief Minister Rane is expected to be elected as leader of the legislative party.

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