Manipur 2017

Small parties hold the key in Manipur, Goa

Congress supporters celebrate in Imphal on Saturday.  

The Congress and the Bharatiya Janata Party were on Saturday poised for a power tussle in Goa and Manipur with both the States throwing up a fractured verdict.

While in Goa the Congress won 17 seats in an Assembly of 40, in Manipur the party got 28 seats in a 60-member House. The BJP was close behind with 13 and 21 in Goa and Manipur respectively.


Given the scenario, smaller parties hold the key to government formation. In Manipur, political observers said despite the Congress being tantalisingly close to the majority mark of 31, it would be advantage BJP.


The National People’s Party (NPP) and the Naga People’s Front (NPF) have won four seats each and both are inclined towards the BJP.

The Lok Jan Shakti Party, an ally of the National Democratic Alliance at the Centre, won one seat and its leader, Union Minister Ram Vilas Pawan, declared that it will support the BJP.

The Trinamool Congress has one seat along with an independent.

BJP national general secretary Ram Madhav, who has been camping in Imphal, claimed that the NPF had declared its support to a non-Congress party.

“We hope to get the support of other parties also. The voting pattern in Manipur is clearly anti-Congress,” he said.

However, political observers are not willing to write off the Congress. Its senior leaders are pinning their hopes on three-time Chief Minister Okram Ibobi Singh to save the Congress.

In Goa, the Congress appeared to be closer to power with the election of an independent supported by it and the Nationalist Congress party’s lone MLA declaring support to the party.

But the king makers are likely to be the Goa Forward Party (GFP) and the Maharashtrawadi Gomantak Party (MGP), which have three MLAs each. There are also three independents.

“A lot of like-minded people have been elected, including my friend Vijai Sardesai of the Goa Forward Party. Of course we will form the government,” Congress MLA from Valpoi Vishwajeet Rane said.

Mr Sardesai, however, did not commit his party’s support to the Congress. “We are not blindly bound to support the Congress to form government. Our support will be to the combination which will commit itself to Goa, Goans and Goenkarpon (Goan identity),” he said.

Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar told reporters the BJP would stake claim if it can get sufficient numbers.

He said the BJP had a “track record of running coalition governments successfully in Goa and definitely with the BJP as the core group with 13 members, it would give a stable government.”

“We may have got fewer seats because of individual anti-incumbency, but we got 5% more votes than the Congress. So in a fractured mandate, we will definitely try to form the government,” Mr. Parrikar said.

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Printable version | Jan 24, 2022 3:53:20 AM |

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