Top 10 important factors in Goa Assembly Election 2017

Coastal state of Goa is the smallest state in India with 40 assembly seats and 2 Members of Parliament. Goa is known for its political turbulence driven by leaders frequently shifting loyalties. On 4th February 2017, voters in Goa would decide about next government. Here are Top 10 important factors in Goa Assembly Election 2017 

1.       Rebel in RSS against BJP

Ruling BJP got a big shock when Subhash Velingkar who was in charge of Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) in Goa region rebelled. Velingkar formed new political outfit called Goa Suraksha Manch (GSM). Majority of RSS cadre has moved away from BJP towards GSM as Velingkar had strong hold on Goa RSS. It is not surprising that BJP heavily depend on RSS help during elections for the success. Organizational strength and cadre of RSS helps BJP to reach voters effectively giving an edge. However, rebel in RSS led by Velingkar would certainly hamper chances of BJP in electoral battle of Goa.   

2.       Entry of AAP in to Goa Politics

Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) is fighting Goa Assembly Election 2017 fielding candidates on all 40 seats. Goa being small state with voter base of about 1 million makes its perfect fit for AAP to replicate Delhi election model. AAP has declared ex-bureaucrat Elvis Gomes as Goa CM candidate against incumbent Laxmikant Parsekar. Elvis Gomes might help in getting Christian votes which constitutes about dominant 30% in Goa.   

3.       Demonetization impact on Goa Tourism

Goa is famous for its exotic beaches attracting both domestic and international tourists in large numbers. Especially, Christmas and Year End is known to be peak season for Goa tourism sector. Demonetization adversely affected tourism across India hitting really hard on Goa’s economic life line. Most of year end parties either got cancelled or shifted to other regions making situation challenging for segments dependent of tourism sector. Hotel room tariff are down, air fares are significantly less and demand for adventure water sports has come down considerably. Moreover, no significant, proactive and visible efforts were made by state government to mitigate the adverse impact of demonetization of tourism sector. Demonetization would certainly play very important role during upcoming Goa Assembly Elections 2017.

4.       MGP breaks alliance with BJP

One of the oldest political party in Goa, Maharashtravadi Gomantak Party (MGP) broke its alliance with ruling BJP. It has formed alliance with Subhah Velingkar led GSM and Shiv Sena. MGP has strong presence among Marathi speaking community and dedicated voter base of about 6% to 10% at least. MGP is expected to fight 25 seats out of 40 while other alliance partners would play supporting role. MGP would play critical role in 7-10 seats adversely affecting BJP chances.

5.       Shivsena

Shivsena has decided to joined GSM and MGP alliance in Goa. Although on its own Shivsena has no significant presence; it could act as a psychological spoiler for BJP. Also, Shivsena has strong base in Konkan region which is adjoining Goa. SS is oldest ally of BJP and sharing power in Maharashtra. However, relations between SS and BJP have deteriorated triggering SS to contest Goa. Alliance of SS+MGP+GSM+GPP would split Hindutva votes of Goa.  


6.       No influence of current CM Parsikar

Goa BJP’s tallest leader Manohar Parrikar promoted to take a charge of Minister of Defense in Modi Cabinet. He handed over post of Chief Minister to Laxmikant Parsekar. However, for last 2 years Parsekar failed to make any impact in Goa politics. Also, most of times he was termed as Rubber Stamp CM of Manohar Parrikar. Even BJP is reluctant to project him as next CM in case party comes back to power. Lack of powerful CM face would adversely affect BJP’s chances.

7.       Congress lack strong CM face and unity

Major opposition party Congress is suffering from lack of unity among all fractions. Also, party has no strong face of CM which is acceptable to all local leaders. For last 5 years, Congress has failed to project itself as strong opposition party in Goa. In case of Congress going solo in upcoming elections; like-minded parties like NCP, GVP might split votes in some constituencies. Also, if AAP manage to project itself as main opposition to BJP then traditional Congress voter would move away towards AAP.

8.       Role of smaller parties like NCP, GVP 

Role of smaller parties like Goa Vikas Party (GVP) and Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) will be important as they may take away Congress votes. GVP won 2 seats during 2012 getting 3.5% votes while NCP got 4.08% votes. Even Trinamool Congress got 1.81% votes. All these parties can affect chances of non BJP candidates due to vote split.

9.       Manohar Parrikar

Manohar Parrikar is the most popular leader in Goa. Even though he has shifted his base to Delhi, he still closely monitors development and administration in Goa. His word in Goa BJP is final. He enjoys clean image and common man in Goa has soft corner for him. How he manages to counter all challenges and rebel by local RSS unit would decide BJP’s fortune in Goa. Also, it would be interesting to see how much time he can devote to Goa Election being occupied with important responsibility as Defense of Minister if India. 


10.   The Prime Minister Mr. Narendra Modi

PM Narendra Modi is certainly a factor in Goa Election. His decision and governance would also be tested as common man in Goa would vote based on their judgement of Central Government’s performance. Goa being one of the top destination for foreign tourists visiting India; international image of India among foreigners post 2014 would also be a factor. 

1 comment: