BJP notches stunning victory in Goa Assembly polls

The BJP notched a stunning victory by emerging the single largest party after bagging 20 seats in the 2022 Goa Legislative Assembly elections.

The BJP, which had contested all 40 seats, improved its 2017 win by registering a vote share of 33.31%, while the Congress got a reduced vote share of 23.46% from all 37 contested seats.

The Goa Chief Minister Dr Pramod Sawant said he had not expected a win of small margin in the Sanquelim constituency and would be analysing this result after forming the new Goa government. BJP Goa desk-incharge Devendra Fadnavis thanked Goans for giving their mandate to development and public service.

AAP leader Arvind Kejriwal noted that his party won two seats in Goa and this was the beginning of “honest politics” in the State. Vishwajit Rane, who won the Valpoi seat, attributed the BJP victory in Goa to “teamwork,” while Dabolim seat winner Mauvin Godinho said that the BJP strategies worked although it was “people’s power” being supreme.

The 2022 elections also witnessed victory of couples – Vishwajit and Deviya Rane, Michael and Delilah Lobo, and Babush and Jennifer Monserate.

Meanwhile, the Congress created a history of sorts by bagging the Siolim constituency with its  woman candidate Delilah Lobo defeating former MLAs Dayanand Mandrekar and Vinod Palyekar among the 13 contestants for the seat. “The election results are not depressing but they are unexpected,” said real estate baron Michael Lobo, who was re-elected from Calangute constituency while wife Delilah Lobo won as a a first-timer from Siolim.

Ättributing the Congress’ lack of winning seats to major vote-splitting that led to them not getting their expected 18-19 seats, he said “The development that we have done over the past five years will continue but the fulfillment of our election manifesto will be affected now.”

“The Congress party – and that too a woman candidate– has never won from Siolim in the past,” noted first-time winner and Congress candidate Delilah Lobo.

Ex-Assistant Solicitor-General of India  and advocate Carlos Ferreira, who won the Aldona seat against two-time MLA Glenn Ticlo, said “The votes counting was neck-to-neck but I had the hearts of my wellwishers across Goa. Power, money and muscle did not win for the two giants – one is a sitting MLA of the ruling and an ex-MLA — against me in this election and I will not tolerate goondaism.”

“I witnessed vindictiveness against me where people – who were working with me “silently or openly” or gave me a thumbsup – had notices taken out against them. I will clean up the constituency of such people. I am grateful to Kiran Kandolkar for having taken away BJP votes,” he added.

The Aam Aadmi Party (AAP), which was hoping to break ground in Goa in this election, finally succeeded with its Benaulim candidate Captain Vency Viegas upsetting the Alemao juggernaut. Despite football afficionado and TMC’s Churchill Alemao expressing confidence of “the winning whistle being in his favour as a people’s man,” AAP’s Viegas upsetted Alemao’s applecart with a runaway win of total 6411 votes in the beachside constituency.

The reactions from the winning candidates and others in the 2022 Goa legislative elections came fast and furious as they highlighted their victories.

Atanasio “Babush” Monserate expressed unhappiness over the election results, especially in the margin of votes polled in his election victory from Panjim. “The BJP cadre did not work for me but they worked for the opposition candidate. I feel the BJP cadre did not accept me into the party – judging from the number of votes. The president of the all-Goa BJP womens cell was sitting on the Congress table. This is also the first time in history that the BJP flag is flying from Taleigao. But the BJP cadre there also worked against Jennifer Monserate,” he said.

Trinamool Congress did not win a single seat, despite contesting 26 seats in alliance with the MGP.

Aleixo Reginaldo Lourenco, who won as an independent from Curtorim again after expressing unhappiness with the Congress and TMC parties, said “”I have won with one agenda: to work for my people and I will go upto the level that I have promised them.”

First-timer political entrant Revolutionary Goans (RG) made their presence felt in bagging a solitary yet important seat of St. Andre through their candidate Viresh Borkar, who got 5395 votes against BJP’s Francisco Silveira (5319 votes.)

Former CM Laxmikant Parsekar, who was contesting as Independent but lost the seat, had said he would win in Mandrem constituency despite the opposition strength being money.

Chandrakant “Babu” Kavlekar, who led the mass defection from the Congress to the BJP, was also among the losers in the election.. Kavlekar had earlier described himself as the “most eligible” to be Goa Chief Minister after winning the 2022 elections.

Distant reactions were also noted. Congress MP Shashi Tharoor tweeted that the party’s “crushing defeat” in the latest polls highlighted the need to reform its organisational leadership towards “reigniting ideas and inspiring people.” Tharoor – along with 22 other party leaders — had written to party chief Sonia Gandhi that “change is unavoidable for the party to succeed.”

Meanwhile, the Herald daily here highlighted an RTI by Saket Gokhale that revealed 57 PSI’s, 39 police inspectors and 18 deputy SPs were transferred on January 7/8 2022 without obtaining ECI sanction. Opposition parties alleged that these transfers were all +politically motivated+ to suit ruling party candidates.

While DGP Goa ID Shukla stated that the wireless message regarding the transfers was sent out on Jan 7 – the eve of the model code of conduct – Gokhale’s RTI query drew the reply as “No record available.”

Meanwhile, farmers anguished over cutting of trees by the government for the Mopa (airport) link road have threatened to approach the  National Green Tribunal (NGT) in this regard. The cashew and mango trees had just begun to bloom with flowers, but they axed all the fruit-bearing trees instead of atleast waiting till the time of harvesting their fruits,”said a farmer Ankush Arawlekar.

Suresh Shanbhogue, Director of Civil Aviation, Goa had stated that the concerned land – Four lakh square metres for the 6.5 kms, six-lane Expressway or Mopa link road — had been acquired legally with compensation amounting to Rs 60 crore given for also fruit-bearing trees.