Up in the Air Image Credit: FRONTLINE
Up in the Air Image Credit: FRONTLINE

Up In The Air

A record voter turnout does not ensure a clear winner in Goa, and both the Congress and the BJP are keen to form the next government.

Anupama Katakam

AS WAS EXPECTED, THE ELECTION IN GOA has resulted in a fractured mandate and a hung Assembly. While it was a fiercely fought election, the final results were sadly an anti-climax. No clear picture emerged during the campaign period, and that is how it remained until the result for the last seat was declared. Unlike in other States, in Goa, a Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)ruled State, there were no signs of a saffron wave or a resurgence of the party.

The Congress and the BJP won 17 and 13 seats respectively. Also as predicted, the independents and smaller regional parties secured enough seats to give them a decisive role in who will form the government.

Goa’s legislative Assembly has a mere 40 seats. If a party cannot secure the magic number of 21 seats, the smaller parties and independents play a critical role. And it is for this reason they tend not to enter into pre-election alliances. The Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) won one seat and Goa Forward and the Maharashtrawadi Gomantak Party (MGP) three seats each. There are three independent winners.

Historically, the MGP goes with the BJP. In which case, Goa Forward could end up playing a big role in government formation. As this report went to press, Goa Forward had not yet decided whether it would support the BJP or the Congress. Although it is assumed that the party will go with the Congress, Goa Congress leaders treated it quite shabbily in the run-up to the elections, and therefore, it feels it

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