The assembly elections in Goa, slated to take place early next year, are going to be a litmus test for the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)-led National Democratic Alliance (NDA) and it would be interesting to see whether the saffron party might be able to retain power in the Konkan state or not.
The BJP, which is in power in Goa since 2012, has once again turned towards Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his favorable image across the country to influence the voters in Goa ahead of the 2022 assembly elections. Recently, the Prime Minister had also visited Goa on the state’s ‘Liberation Day’ and inaugurated and laid the foundation stone for several development projects.
During his day-long visit, PM Modi also took a veiled dig at Congress and said that Goa would have been liberated from Portuguese rule much earlier if Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel lived for some more years. He had also lauded former Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar, saying he was “honest and talented” who worked for the betterment of Goa.
“Goa is top in good governance, per capita income, and many others. I want to congratulate Goa for completing a cent per cent coverage of 1st dose to all its eligible population. Today I can say that Pramod Sawant Ji is working with a big vision for the development of Goa,” PM Modi had said.
However, this year, the dynamics in Goa have vastly changed with Mamata Banerjee-led Trinamool Congress’ entry into the state. The TMC, following its astonishing performance in the West Bengal assembly elections, is preparing to take on the BJP in all states where polls are scheduled to take place in 2022, including Goa.
Besides TMC, the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) and Congress are also looking to turn the tide in the Konkan state. Though it should be noted that the AAP has declined to form a pre-poll alliance with TMC or any other party for the Goa assembly polls.
How did BJP, Congress, and other parties perform in the Goa assembly elections 2017?
In 2017, the BJP-led NDA had managed to retain power in the state despite Congress emerging as the single-largest party. The BJP had won 13 seats (32.5 percent vote share) and formed a post-poll alliance with Maharashtrawadi Gomantak Party (MAG) (3 seats, 11.3 percent vote share) and Goa Forward Party (GFP) (3 seats, 3.5 percent).
However, the GFP has left the NDA and sealed an alliance with Congress for 2022 polls. Meanwhile, the AAP had failed to open its account in 2017. The AAP, as per the Election Commission, had received over 57,000 with a 6.3 percent vote share.
Can BJP retain power in Goa?
Though it would face tough competition in 2022 polls, the saffron party is expected to retain power in the state. As per ABP C-Voter’s latest survey, the BJP is expected to win 24 to 28 seats in Goa assembly elections 2022 while the Congress might get just 1 to 5 seats. Arvind Kejriwal-led AAP, on the other hand, is expected to get 3 to 7 seats with others winning 4 to 8 seats, as per the survey.