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Goa Election Results: Big setback for BJP as Laxmikant Parsekar loses in Goa

LiveMint logoLiveMint 11-03-2017 Abhiram Ghadyalpatil and Maulik Pathak

Mumbai/Ahmedabad: In a huge embarrassment for the Bharatiya Janata Party in Goa, its chief minister in the outgoing government, Laxmikant Parsekar suffered a crushing defeat in Mandrem constituency of North Goa, losing by around 3,500 votes to Congress candidate Dayanand Sopte.

Early trends in Goa suggested Parsekar’s loss could be part of an upset for the Bharatiya Janata Party which according to the latest trends is leading only in 8 of the 23 seats for which trends are available at 10.53 am. The Congress is leading in 11. The assembly has 40 seats. The BJP had won 21 seats in 2012 elections and Congress 9.

The loss may well be the end of the road for Parsekar who has been under the shadow of his predecessor Manohar Parrikar, now the union defence minister.

Despite Parsekar being the chief minister, the party had to rely on its star campaigner Parrikar for the Goa elections. Parsekar replaced him in 2014 when he moved to the Centre.

Track Assembly Election Results 2017 here

National BJP party leaders, including party president Amit Shah, have during the election campaign suggested that the chief minister will be chosen by the elected legislators if the party returns to power, suggesting that Parsekar might not be a shoo-in. Many BJP supporters and party workers have said that they want Parrikar back. Apart from the buzz about Parrikar returning to Goa if the BJP wins, Parsekar faced competition from his own colleagues including deputy CM Francis D’Souza .

An aggressive campaigner, Parsekar has in the past won thrice from his constituency of Mandrem in north Goa.

Parsekar, who shares a strong connection with Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS), BJP’s ideological arm, has built a strong base for the party in Goa over the years and served as the minister of health of Goa before becoming the CM.

The decision of RSS rebel Subhash Velingkar’s Goa Suraksha Manch to contest the Goa assembly elections was another challenge for the BJP as well as Parsekar.

Parsekar was the president of the state BJP unit on two occasions.

The BJP under Parsekar’s leadership has been criticized for failing to crack down on illegal miners and the increase in drug trafficking in the state.

In its manifesto, the BJP promised to make the state “unemployment free” in the next five years by bringing in investment in tourism and non-polluting industries. The party also, among other promises, said that it would develop world class infrastructure.

A former principal of a secondary school in Goa, Parsekar is also the chairman of Ganpat Parsekar College of Education (GPCE) and is associated with various social and cultural associations.

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