Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Goa Elections : Panaji Seat - Its Shripad Vs Deshprabhu

Over the days it has been pretty clear that the main battle for the North Goa seat is between the two biggies from the old-Congress-new-NCP candidate Mr Jitendra Deshprabhu and the BJP's Mr Shripad Naik the sitting MP while the other 5 candidates are merely making up the numbers either to spoil the congress or the BJP's plans or to simply be also-ran heroes with no chance of putting up a fight leave alone a win.

With hardly 2 days left for the voting to commence on the 23rd of April, it is amply clear that the main battle between the two major national parties is bound to be fierce with  no clear indication of a clear winner as of now. Predictions are that the fight is bound to be pretty close.

The other notable candidates in the fray, Mr Pandurang Raut of the Maharashtrawadi Gomantak party, The communist party of India perennial nominee Mr Christopher Fonseca  and the Shiv Sena contender Mr Upendra Gaonkar have all had their campaigns on a limited scale in the North Goa constituency owing to a lower number of party workers and lesser reach while the two independent candidates seem to be relying on family and friends to help them to the final tally.

The last few days were therefore busy for both the congress and the BJP with both the parties holding corner meetings to large meetings and visiting the voters houses to woo the electorate with their manifestoes and promises. The MGP, CPI and the Shiv sena have however resorted to nursing selective places which they feel has their vote-bank in an effort to make their presence felt in Goa.

Mr Shripad Naik commands support from the Bhandari community to whom he belongs and whose population is huge in North Goa. His MPLAD works and his projection of a clean image are considered to be his strengths. However Mr Narendra Modi is the only top leader to have come down to Goa to campaign for him besides the glamour of TV actress Ms Smriti Irani

Mr Deshprabhu on the other hand can take heart from the fact that his party is ruling at the centre as well as the state along with the congress and his top leaders of the party such as Mr Sharad pawar and Mr Praful Patel have come to Goa to campaign for him. However his image of a landlord can be his undoing and internal bickering within the local congress and NCP could be damaging to his prospects.

Nevertheless the people of North Goa have made up their mind regarding the candidate of their choice and the final reply after the voting on April 23rd will be given only on the 16th of May.

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