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Post-Parrikar, BJP loses Panaji, gain for Congress

It’s a vote for the development of the State capital, says victor Atanasio Monserrate

May 23, 2019 01:59 pm | Updated 01:59 pm IST

Panaji, 23/05/2019: Congress candidate for Panaji By Poll Elections Babush Monserratte and his supporters celebrating outside the Counting center in Panaji on Thursday. Congress won the Capital City of Goa after 25 years by defeating BJPs Sidharth Kuncalienker. Former Goa CM and Former Defense Minister Manohar Parrikar was the MLA of Panaji for the last 25 years. Photo: Atish Pomburfekar.

Panaji, 23/05/2019: Congress candidate for Panaji By Poll Elections Babush Monserratte and his supporters celebrating outside the Counting center in Panaji on Thursday. Congress won the Capital City of Goa after 25 years by defeating BJPs Sidharth Kuncalienker. Former Goa CM and Former Defense Minister Manohar Parrikar was the MLA of Panaji for the last 25 years. Photo: Atish Pomburfekar.

After 25 years consecutive run, the BJP on Thursday lost the Panaji Assembly constituency to Congress’s Atanasio Monserrate by 1,758 votes.

The seat was represented by late Goa Chief Minister and former Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar for a maximum period since 1994.

While Mr. Monserrate polled 8,748 votes, the BJP candidate polled 6,990 votes. AAP’s Valmiki Naik and Subhash Velingkar of the Goa Suraksha Manch polled 236 and 516 votes, respectively.

“This is a victory of the Congress party and a vote for the development of the State capital, which it was deprived of, for the last so many years,” Mr. Monserrate said after the result was announced.

The by-poll in Panaji Assembly constituency was held following the death of MLA and Chief Minister Parrikar on March 17 following a prolonged battle with pancreatic cancer.

Mr. Parrikar had first won in Panaji in 1994 and retained it until 2014 when he was inducted in Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Cabinet. In his absence, the seat was represented twice by his aide Mr. Kuncalienkar. On his return to State politics in 2017, Mr. Parrikar was once again elected Panaji MLA in a by-poll held following his taking over as Chief Minister of BJP-led coalition government.

The BJP’s campaign had received a setback after party workers resented the manner in which late Parrikar’s elder son Utpal was snubbed by the party’s State leadership in his bid for the ticket for the Panaji by-poll.

In a Facebook post on Thursday, Mr. Utpal Parrikar said that the loss of Panaji seat was very painful.

“Having said that, I am only reminded of words uttered by our late leader Atalji when BJP was reduced to two seats in Lok Sabha. ‘Darkness will be dispelled, Sun will rise and Lotus will bloom’. In democracy collective wisdom always lies with the people. Hard work is needed to win back people’s trust,” said Mr.Utpal.

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