Herald: Sawaikar hit with mining, MGP double whammy

Sawaikar hit with mining, MGP double whammy

26 May 2019 06:15am IST
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26 May 2019 06:15am IST

Pratik Parab

ining and the issue of MGP playing spoilsport especially in Marcaim had a role play in diminishing BJP’s South Goa candidate Narendra Sawaikar’s lead in constituencies where these issues made a difference. 

BJP gained 8572 votes lead from the Sanvordem constituency which is a mining area, which proved that mining, did not affect the polling as much as Congress had predicted. However, compared to the 2014 Lok Sabha election, Sanvordem gave BJP a lead of 11843, which are 3271 votes less. The Curchorem constituency gave BJP a lead of 3419 votes over Congress. Compared to 2014, Curchorem delivered 5788 votes to the BJP which is 2369 votes less.

Finally, Sanguem which had given a lead of 7714 votes to BJP in 2014 got a lead of only 3347 votes this time, which are 4367 votes less. 

The BJP lost 9257 votes from mining belt this election compared to how much they had polled in 2014 from the mining belt.  Compare this figure to the margin by which they lost in South Goa - 9755 votes. This also means that these areas had the potential to cushion the effect of Marcaim which means the BJP made a mistake while reading the situation of South Goa. 

Digambar Kamat while congratulating the new South Goa MP Francisco Sardinha said that "In North and South the Congress expected that mining dependants will stand by us because of the importance of the issue. However, North or South Goa Congress did not get en-masse votes as it was expected. The Valpoi and surrounding areas in mining belt in the North have given a significant lead to the BJP.”

The Curchorem MLA and Power Minister Nilesh Cabral said "There is no need to worry. South Goa is our seat and we will win it back for sure" he said while acknowledging that the small deficiencies of votes from the mining belt did cobble up to a much bigger figure to reduce the votes of BJP. 

"South Goa is our seat and we will win it back for sure. The votes have indeed reduced but not fully in favor of Congress. The people had and still have hope that it is only BJP which can solve the issue, given that BJP will form the government in the Centre,” he added. He further stated that BJP is reviewing the voting pattern of the mining belt. 

Cabral, however, maintained that Marcaim factor was the most damaging and maybe mining was second in the list. "The 10 to 12 thousand reductions of lead from Marcaim snowballed into the defeat. The Salcete has always been voting in the same pattern" he said.  Sawaikar had got a considerable lead from Marcaim constituency in the 2014 Lok Sabha elections 

Leader of the Truck Owners Association Prakash Raut Dessai said "The mining belt has not entirely gone against the BJP as they too realised the BJP will ultimately form the Government. 

"Major effect was Marcaim and (Marcaim MLA) Sudin (Dhavalikar) who campaigned openly for Congress. There were some people who held resentment on the mining issue. They did not vote for BJP or Congress and may have abstained from voting,” added Cabral. 

BJP leaders were surprised with the response from Fatorda given that the constituency is represented by its ally Goa Forward Chief and Deputy Chief Minister Vijai Sardesai. The constituency gave Congress a lead of 638 whereas in the 2014 elections, BJP had got the lead in this constituency, which then had Sardesai batting for the then Congress candidate Aleixo Reginaldo Lourenco.
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