xit polls have predicted that Bharatiya Janata Party may retain power in Goa.
Exit polls have predicted that Bharatiya Janata Party may retain power in Goa. This is surprising. Considering the way new entrant Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) claimed its victory was certain and the internal issues that rocked the ruling BJP, the saffron party appeared to have little chances of coming back to power. BJP not only had to face an aggressive AAP but also archrival Congress, which was sensing an opportunity. There were two other issues that threatened to affect BJP chances.
First, just before the elections, ally Maharashtrawadi Gomantak Party(MGP) severed ties with the saffron party. The MGP even claimed it would not form any alliance with the BJP after the elections “under any circumstances”. Second, a revolt engineered by the Goa RSS unit chief Subhash Velingkar appeared to eat away crucial votes of the BJP. Velingkar was sacked. But he launched a new party — Goa Suraksha Manch (GSM). It also announced a Grand Alliance with the MGP and Shiv Sena.
The political situation in the state, hence, was not conducive for a lotus bloom. The exit polls, however, predict a surprise win for the saffron party. According to India TV-C Voter survey, BJP can win 15-21 seats, while the Congress and AAP would have to be content with 12-18 and 0-4 seats respectively. Others can win 2-8 seats. The India Today-Axis poll predicts even better returns for the BJP with 18-22 seats, 9-13 for Congress, 0-2 for AAP and 4-9 for others. India News-MRC has predicted 15 seats for the BJP, 10 for Congress, seven for AAP and 8 for the rest.
More winners in the “other” category would be beneficial for the BJP more than the rest. The party had supported some independent candidates and it can hope support from MGP as well as Shiv Sena if they manage to win a few seats. The prediction of better chances for the BJP could be because of people’s trust in Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s leadership as well as the performance of BJP under now Union Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar, followed by present CM Laxmikant Parsekar.
The exit polls also make one believe that AAP campaign in the state was overhyped by the party leaders. During the campaign, AAP chief Arvind Kejriwal had claimed that his party was fighting a “bipolar” fight in Punjab and Goa. While in Punjab, the party appears to be winning according to the exit polls, its claim in Goa has been proven wrong. Addressing a rally in Benaulim assembly constituency near Panaji in January, Kejriwal had said, “It is not a four-cornered contest, it is a bipolar contest in Punjab and Goa. On one side all the parties and against them is AAP (Aam Aadmi Party). This is a dharma-yuddha.”
The truth of Kejriwal’s claim would be, however, exposed only after the real results are announced tomorrow. Till then, one can wish all the best to the new entrant in Goa politics.