General Election 2019 : A Glimpse of Goan Politics

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Panaji:

Goa has always been a fertile soil for political dramas. The hasty formation of the coalition government by BJP in 2017 assembly election, the sudden revelation of the ill-health of Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar, his further retirement from the active political scene in the state, the overtures of loyal MLAs of Congress and BJP, and uncertainty on the dates of by-election; the political landscape of the state has always been on an unpredictable terrain.

The verdict of the 2019 general elections in Goa is expected to draw influence from these political turbulences the state has been witnessing for a while. The induction of AAP to the election scene is expected to further trivialise the poll predictions.

There are only two parliamentary constituencies in Goa, namely North Goa and South Goa. One of the small states in India, Goa has a total voter population of 10,43,304, comprising 73.76% of the total population.

In the 2014 Lok Sabha Election, BJP won all the two constituencies with a comfortable margin. Shripad Yesso Naik, the BJP candidate from North Goa, was won with a margin of 105,599 votes defeating the INC candidate Ravi Naik. He was the elected candidate of BJP in the 2009 elections as well.

BJP candidate Narendra Keshav Sawaikar was elected from the South Goa constituency with a majority of 32,330 votes against the INC candidate Aleixo Reginaldo Lourenco. It was different traction compared to the 2009 election where Congress candidate Francisco Sardinha was elected with 12,516 votes.

Congress president Rahul Gandhi has announced that the former Goa chief minister Digambar Kamat will lead the Congress campaign in Goa. He was the centre of attraction during last year when he was charge-sheeted in a mining scam.

As seen in the poll campaigns in 2014, the topic of granting Special Status to Goa have been taken up by all parties, much aggressively this time. BJP had already drawn much flak from the opposition parties for not fulfilling the promise of granting Special Status as boasted by Prime Minister Narendra Modi during the 2014 general election.

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