Naik fighting history too!
It's an ominous sign that Union Minister Sripad Naik will be acutely aware of when he files his papers for Panaji constituency on Monday, knowing fully well that the seat has never returned the same candidate twice in the history of Lok Sabha polls.
Since 1963, which was the first time Goa went to polls after its liberation from the Portugese rule, Panaji has never voted the same candidate twice a fact that is bound to play on Naik's mind, inspite of the fact that most consider him to be the clear leader in the race.
Naik's main opponent will be NCP state president Wilfred D'souza and a seasoned campaigner, who is confident that he can turn the BJP's allged `complacence' about the Panaji seat into a victory for himself.
History seems to back him up. While Peter Alvares won the first Lok Sabha polls held in Goa from Panaji, he was not elected to parliament again, setting off a tradition that has continue till date.
This trend is in sharp contrast to Mormugoa, the only other Lok Sabha seat from the state, which seems to have a much more loyal electorate, having voted eduardo faleiro of the congress five times in a row and erasmo de sequeira of the united goans party twice.
The present MP from the seat, Ramakant Angle of the BJP will be hoping for the same sort of loyalty from his voters this time around while his opponent, Churchill Alemao will wish for a Panaji-like situation. MORE
While most observers seem to be unable to pinpoint a particular reason for this inconsistency among the electorate of Panaji, it is also pertinent to note that seat has kept oscillating from the Maharshtrawadi Gomantak Party and the Congress.
The BJP won the seat for the first time in the last elections, making it a clean sweep.
While political observers put Naik ahead of the race, D'souza's political acumen and understanding cannot be discounted and the final three weeks would decide who holds sway.
Angle and Alemao however will have a much tougher fight on their hands, with the battle for the minority vote playing a crucial role in deciding the victor.