Herald: Thin majority helped BJP win all seats in Mormugao taluka
Herald News

Thin majority helped BJP win all seats in Mormugao taluka

16 Mar 2017 07:31pm IST

Report by
Navin Jha VASCO

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16 Mar 2017 07:31pm IST

Report by
Navin Jha VASCO

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32 candidates were in fray in the four constituencies of Mormugao Taluka, but BJP romped home in all the four despite enjoying a thin majority

A mixed bag of candidates, non-performance of few prominent candidates helped BJP to sail through all the four constituencies of Mormugao Taluka which is reflected in the wafer thin margin received by the winners.

The battle in Mormugao was mainly between Congress candidate Sankalp Amonkar and BJP candidate Milind Naik, with former Congressmen and Aam Admi Party (AAP) candidate Karl Vaz being considered as a spoiler in the battle right from the beginning. Both Congress as BJP were confident of their victory with a high margin. But the results proved all of them wrong as BJP candidate Milind Naik won with a wafer-thin margin of 140 votes. Naik got 8466 votes while Amonkar polled 8326 votes. The other four candidates in fray including AAP candidate Karl Vaz (267 votes), Shiv Sena candidate Sanjay Naik (51 votes), independent candidate Parshuram Sonurlekar (48 votes) and Maria Mendonca (31 votes) literally ate into Congress as well as BJP votes. Collectively these four candidates who were treated as spoilers and even lost their election deposits together got only 397 votes and this was proved with the results as this vote split actually helped BJP to retain its Mormugao seat.

Before elections it was rumoured that AAP candidate Karl would help the BJP steal Congress votes being a former man from the party.

Similarly if 151 voters had not opted for NOTA then the situation would have been surely different. Postal ballot was also one of the factors that changed all calculations. As predicted, o f all four assembly seats in Mormugao, the battle in Mormugao was more interesting as neck to neck fight was seen during counting. BJP candidate finally triumphed, leaving Congress candidate wonder what went wrong.

In Vasco the battle was mainly between BJP candidate Carlos Almeida and BJP rebel Krishna alias Daji Salkar who unsuccessfully contested as independent and lost to Almeida with a narrow margin of 1351 votes.

Of the total 26140 votes polled, 25836 votes including 314 postal votes were valid and 363 voters opted for NOTA. Though Almeida who fetched 8765 votes and defeated Salkar by a margin of 1351 (Salkar fetched 7414 votes), neither Almeida nor his supporters had expected such a small margin of victory.

For the other rival party candidates, Salkar contesting elections against Almeida was positive and important factor that can push them towards victory. NCP candidate Jose Philip D’ Souza as well as Congress Candidate Saifulla Khan strongly believed that Salkar would eat into BJP votes and this split would help them sail though. Almeida who was expecting a lead of over 5000 votes had to settle down with only 1351 victory margin. Sources say it was more his personal votes by which Almeida emerged victorious and became the first MLA to win Vasco seat consecutively in a row, a record by itself.

While Almeida and Salkar were fighting for the BJP votes Jose Philip D’ Souza too tried his level best to win the elections but as the alliance talks with Congress failed barely few days before elections, D’Souza did not got traditional Congress votes and received 4202 votes which were supposedly his personal votes and not of any party.

Similarly the last moment breakup of alliance with NCP affected Congress candidate Saifulla Khan who unsuccessfully tried his best to garner full support of Vasco Congress block but failed as it has been alleged by few strong supporters of Khan that many of Congress leaders including leaders from minority wing did not work for him resulting in Khan getting only 3737 votes. The other candidates included Loretta Shreedharan (AAP, 928), Manesh Arolkar (MGP, 654), Gandhi Henriques (independent, 77,) and Chandrashekher Vast (Niz Goenkar Revolution, 59). Interestingly five candidates who helped in splitting votes finally ended up in losing their deposits.  

Since the day elections were declared, it was predicted that the battle for Dabolim seat would be mainly between BJP candidate Mauvin Godinho and MGP candidate Premanand Nanoskar. But Godinho won with acomfortable margin of 2494. Mauvin got 7234 votes against 4740 votes of Premanand Nanoskar, while other party candidates including Congress candidate Francisco Nunes(2752), NCP candidate Kritesh Gaunkar(1043), AAP candidate Vasant Naik (1117). The others Kenneth Silveira, Tara Kerkar, Preetam Keluskar and Suresh Barve lost their deposits.

Before elections, Cortalim considered as unsafe for BJP because of lack of projects, but Alina Saldanha managed to sail through with a thin margin of 518.

Alina got 5666 votes while independent candidate Antonio Vas fetched 5148 votes.

Interestingly as expected, Alina got 60 to 70 percent of the traditional BJP votes, plus about 4000 votes from Zuarinagar slums.

The battle between Alina and her nephew Olencio Simoes (AAP Candidate) had added spice to the fight as both of them were trying to connect to the people using name of late Matanhy Saldanha besides using their party flag. People wanted to see whether activist turned politician Olencio Simoes who contested on AAP ticket would defeat his own Aunt Alina Saldanha, but Simoes who managed to take lead in almost all the booths in Cansaulim, Arossim, Velsao village could not convince the Zuarinagar slum dwellers and stood fifth in tally with 2482 votes.

Congress candidate Gilbert Mariano Rodrigues was having full faith that Zuarinagar slum voters which are his home area would extend full support to him, but his calculations went wrong and Alina maintained lead in many booths of Zuarinagar slums. 

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