Saturday, April 4, 2009

Goa Elections review 2009 : South Goa's Mormugao seat

The South Goa's Mormugao Parliamentary constituency has by and large remained to be a traditional bastion of the Congress with the party emerging victorious in this constituency in most of the parliamentary elections, for a record seven times including a bye-election. However there have been four occasions when a party other than the congress wrested the seat. The United Goans Party (UGP) won the first two elections after Goa's liberation while the United Goans Democratic party (UGDP) won the elections from this constituency in 1996 and the Bharatiya Janata Party claimed the seat in 1999.

The Mormugao constituency has always been known to have a sizeable number of the Christian community which has traditionally voted for the secular parties and thereby ensured their triumph. The erstwhile UGP headed by Jack de sequeira got the bulk of the votes and since 1977 the people of the constituency voted in favour of the Congress on six occasions but the smooth run of the congress was interrupted by Mr Ramakant Angle, a BJP candidate in the year 1999 who won the seat after defeating the Congress nominee Mr Joaquim Alemao.

Earlier the congress party had lost the seat to Mr Churchill Alemao who, riding on the anti-congress wave had defeated Mr Eduardo Faleiro, a five time Member of parliament from Mormugao. Mr Churchill won the seat again in 2004, however this time on the congress ticket and subsequently resigned in 2007 to contest assembly elections on the ticket of the save Goa front, a party formed by himself.He subsequently rejoined the Congress and the contesting candidate for the ensuing Bye -elections, Mr Francisco Sardinha won the seat by a huge margin.

This time around, the mix of MLA's in the local Goa assembly are from both the congress ( 10 MLAs) and the BJP ( 6 MLAs) as also the NCP(2 MLAs), MGP(1 MLA) and an independent MLA. The constituency is therefore more likely to see a battle between the Congress and the BJP.

Both the congress and the BJP are most likely to see a snatch of their vote bank by the UGDP and the MGP respectively with both the parties fielding their nominees and drawing attention of the voters with populist campaigns. The task is bound to be tougher for the congress as the UGDP is expected to play spoil sport by taking a chunk of the Christian votes normally garnered by the Congress.

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