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Goa is the country's traditional party capital.

Voting started in Goa on 14 February 2022. The polling was carried out for 40 Assembly seats in Goa. In Goa, 301 candidates were contesting polls, the officials said. For the convenience of female voters, over 100 'all-women' polling booths have been set up in the state. In the coastal state, the elections were held in a single phase, the officials said. Around 11 lakh people are eligible to cast votes in the state.

Of the five States that went to the polls in early 2022, the BJP won four - Uttar Pradesh, Manipur, Uttarakhand and Goa - while the Aam Aadmi Party swept Punjab. In Manipur, Goa and Uttarakhand, where its main rival was the Congress, the BJP won enough seats to form the government. While the party fell short of an absolute majority in Goa, it obtained the support of five more candidates.

Manohar Parrikar was the chief minister of the state between 2000 and 2002 and again from 2002 to 2005. In 2012 Assembly elections, the BJP was in an alliance with the MGP and managed to get the majority on its own. The Congress won 9 seats whereas the BJP was successful in 21 seats. The party won 21 seats in the 40-member Assembly and Manohar Parrikar became the chief minister.

In 2014 Lok Sabha polls, the BJP won a decisive mandate in Goa and captured both the seats in the state. The BJP received 4,36,679 votes with a massive vote share of 54.1 per cent. The Congress drew a blank in Goa also and received 2,98,750 votes with a vote share of 37 per cent. The party won the South Goa Lok Sabha seat only for the second time in 2014. BJP's Narendra Keshav Sawaikar defeated Congress party's Aleixo Reginaldo Lourenco with a good margin. The party won the seat for the first time in 1999 when Ramakant Angle emerged victorious from the seat. The party also won the North Goa seat in 2014 when Shripad Yesso Naik defeated Congress party's Ravi Naik. Shripad Yesso Naik has been winning the seat since 1999. In November 2014, Parrikar had to resign as the chief minister after Prime Minister Narendra Modi chose him to lead the Defence Ministry.

In the 2017 Goa assembly election, the Congress had emerged as the single-largest party with 17 seats. The BJP might have swept Uttar Pradesh, Uttarakhand and Manipur but was trounced in Punjab and bested by the Congress in Goa. In Punjab, the party could blame its tie up with the coalition partner Shiromani Akali Dal, but in Goa where it finished with 13 seats behind the Congress’s 17, and eight seats short of a majority, the party has no one to blame but itself.

The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) swept the state in 2014 Lok Sabha elections but lost its majority in 2017 Assembly elections. However, under the leadership of Manohar Parrikar the BJP with 13 seats, swiftly moved to cobble together an alliance with Maharashtrawadi Gomantak Party (MGP), Goa Forward Party (GFP) and some independents. Over the next two years, while CM Manohar Parrikar was battling pancreatic cancer and was often away for medical treatment, the BJP, bit by bit, outsmarted the Congress and even its ally MGP to bolster its strength in the assembly.

Goa, one of India’s smallest states with just two Lok Sabha constituencies – North Goa and South Goa – went to polls on 23 April 2019. In the 2014 general elections, the state had elected BJP candidates from both its constituencies. For the BJP in Goa, the 2019 election was particularly challenging as it fought without its two-decade-long star-campaignerParikkar. After battling cancer for a few years, former CM and Union minister Parikkar died on 17 March 2019, just a month before the elections.

In the state’s North Goa constituency, this election, BJP’s four-time MP Shripad Naik was pitted against Congress state president Girish Chodankar. Naik had won big in 2014 parliamentary election with a margin of over one lakh votes. In its South Goa seat, BJP’s MP Narendra Sawaikar has contested against former Congress MP Francisco Sardinha. The Maharashtrawadi Gomantak Party (MGP), with a large vote bank in the Ponda region of the constituency, is backing the Congress this time. In the past elections, MGP was BJP’s ally.

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Page last modified: 12-04-2022 19:16:35 ZULU