Except for the constituencies of Cortalim and Quepem, none of the constituencies outside Salcete gave a lead to the winner of the South Goa Lok Sabha seat. JULIO D’SILVA looks at how Congress’s Francisco Sardinha managed to edge out BJP’s Narendra Sawaikar against the backdrop of BJP winning 300 plus seats across the country
he solid lead of 51,319 votes that the Congress candidate Francisco Sardinha got in the eight assembly segments of Salcete taluka saw him easily marching to victory as the nine constituencies where the BJP had its MLAs gave its candidate Narendra Sawaikar a lead of only 34,977 votes.
While Congress increased on the leads it had got during the 2014 elections in Salcete, it also managed to gather more votes in other constituencies and in fact decreased the lead the BJP had got last time in its strongholds.
At the end of the first found when counting was completed in 10 assembly segments, Sardinha was leading by a slender margin of 2,013 votes even though some of the assembly constituencies were BJP strongholds.
While in Ponda the BJP lead was 3,805, which was less than the 3,881 vote lead it had got in 2014 in Shiroda it got a lead of 6,312 votes which was higher than the 2,969 vote lead it got in 2014. However, in Sanguem its lead was reduced to 3,347 votes as against the lead of 7,714 it got in 2014.
Despite having a BJP MLA in Mormugao, the lead this time was 3,438 as against the 3,649 lead it had secured in 2014. However, in Vasco which is again represented by the BJP in the Assembly, the lead went up from 2,605 in 2014 to 3,024 this time around.
Although the BJP had a lead in Sanvordem that is represented by PWD minister Deepak Pawaskar it was reduced to 8,572 votes as against the lead of 11,843 votes it had got in 2014. Similarly in Curchorem represented by the Power Minister Nilesh Cabral, the BJP lead dropped to 3,323 against the 5,788 vote lead it had in 2014.
What is noteworthy is that in Fatorda assembly constituency represented by the Deputy Chief Minister Vijai Sardessai who leads the Goa Forward Party; Congress got a lead of 638 votes while in 2014, the BJP had led by 438 votes. What is more significant is at the Fatorda assembly election held in 2017, Congress was trailing at the third position after Vijai and the BJP candidate.
The constituencies represented by Congress MLAs gave the Congress very substantial leads including Quepem, where in 2014 the BJP had a lead of 1,721 votes, this time the Congress candidate led by 1,086 votes.
Nuvem that had given a lead of 7,597 in 2014 to Congress, saw the lead increasing to 12,115 votes while in Cuncolim the lead of 750 votes in 2014 swung up to a lead of 2,619 votes this time around. In Benaulim while Congress had a lead of 5,058 votes in 2014, this time it nearly doubled as the lead was 10,706 votes.
While former chief minister Digambar Kamat’s Margao gave Francisco Sardinha a lead of 2,036 votes as against the lead of 1,128 the BJP had got in 2014 in Ponda where former chief minister Ravi Naik is the MLA, the Congress trailed by 3,805 votes while in 2014 the BJP had lead by 3,881 votes.
Nuvem gave Congress the maximum lead of 12,115 votes followed by Velim where the lead was 10,260 votes. Incidentally in 2014 the leads for the Congress in both the constituencies were 7,597 votes and 8,105 votes respectively,
While Navelim gave Congress a lead of 4,599 votes as against the 2,190 lead it had given in 2014, in Cuncolim the lead increased to 2,619 for the Congress from the slender lead of 750 votes it had got in 2014.
Curtorim the home turf of Sardinha saw him getting a lead of 8,346 this time while in 2014 the then Congress candidate Aleixo Reginaldo Lourenco had a lead of 7,056 votes only.