Goa By-Election: BJP Wins Both Seats, One For Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar

August 28 2017
Goa By-Election: BJP Wins Both Seats, One For Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar

The ruling BJP has won the by-elections to two assembly seats in Goa, with Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar emerging victorious from Panaji andhealth minister Vishwajit Rane from Valpoi.

It was crucial for the BJP to bag the two seats as it does not enjoy a majority on its own in the 40-member assembly.

MrParrikar, who returned to the state from the Centre after the assembly elections in February, defeated his nearest rival, Congress' Girish Chodankar, by 4,803 votes.

Mr Parrikar assumed office in March after resigning as Defence Minister. When he took charge, he was not an MLA and hence had to get elected to the assembly within six months to continue in the office.

As per the final results announced this morning, Mr Parrikar got 9,862 votes against 5,059 votes got by Mr Chodankar. Goa Suraksha Manch (GSM) president Anand Shirodkar got 220 votes, while 301 people opted for 'None of The Above' or NOTA in the August 23 election.

Mr Chodankar, a senior leader of the Goa Congress, is a close aide of party vice president Rahul Gandhi.

MrParrikar, who had been getting elected from Panaji constituency since 1994, had resigned in November 2014 to join the Union Cabinet as DefenceMinister.

BJPleader Sidharth Kuncolienkar, who won the subsequent by-election from Panaji and retained the seat in the 2017 elections, stepped down to makeway for Mr Parrikar who returned to the state in March and formed a coalition government.

After the result was declared, Mr Parrikar said he was happy with the margin of his victory. "I am thankful to the people of Panaji who elected me. It's a repeat of the 2012 assembly elections," he said, attributing the result to his performance and connection with the people.

Mr Chodankar said he was grateful to the people of Panaji for their "love and affection". "I might have lost but I have made a place in the hearts of the people of Panaji," he said.

BJPcandidate and health minister Vishwajit Rane retained his Valpoi seat by defeating his nearest rival Roy Naik of the Congress by 10,066 votes.Mr Rane had resigned as MLA after leaving the Congress and subsequentlyjoining the BJP.

With today's results, the BJP's strength in theHouse rises to 14. The Congress has 16 MLAs, Goa Forward Party (GFP) and Maharashtrawadi Gomantak Party (MGP) three each, NCP one, while three are independent. The BJP-led coalition comprises GFP, MGP and the three independents.