Panaji: The BJP has swept the Congress out of power in Goa, crossing the majority and notching 23 seats and leading in one. Chief Minister Digamber Kamat has, meanwhile, submitted his resignation. Goa BJP leader Manohar Parrikar declared jubilantly that he will most likely be the next chief minister of the state. He added, "I have given a time schedule which I will follow. In the budget, we will make announcements like petrol VAT and inflation."
He further said, "The Congress has been punished in Goa. I am proud of the fact that I got support from Hindus, Muslims and Christians alike. They have voted to save Goa."
The Congress has so far won 9 seats.
The United Goan Democratic Party (UGDP), meanwhile, has won 2 seats, and the Independents have bagged 5 seats.
BJP President Nitin Gadkari said at a press conference in Delhi that "even minorities" had voted in favour of the party.
Meanwhile, Congress spokesperson Abhishek Manu Singhvi said that the "illegal mining factor" seemed to have turned the tide in the BJP's favour.
Congratulating Parrikar, Singhvi said, "We will introspect deeply and will have an inquiry."
Eight incumbent cabinet ministers lose polls
Eight of the 11 Cabinet ministers who contested the Assembly elections have had to bite the dust after a massive anti-incumbency wave knocked out the Congress-Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) alliance, results of the vote-count showed Tuesday.
Among the key candidates to lose the polls are home minister Ravi Naik (Ponda), public works department minister Churchill Alemao (Navelim), power minister Aleixo Sequeira (Nuvem), urban development minister Joaquim Alemao (Cuncolim), forest minister Filipe Neri (Velim) and Babu Azgaonkar (Pernem), all from the Congress.
The two nationalist Congress party (NCP) ministers, Jose Philip D'Souza (Vasco) and Nilkanth Halarnkar (Thivim) have lost the polls. The NCP, which fielded seven candidates, is yet to open its account in the elections.
The only cabinet ministers to have won the elections are chief minister Digambar Kamat, health minister Vishwajit Rane and education minister Atanasio Monserrate.
The only other minister in the Kamat-led 12-member cabinet was transport minister Sudin Dhavalikar, a member of the Maharashtrawadi Gomantak Party, which aligned with the BJP in a pre-poll alliance.
'Family raj' works against Congress:
'Family raj', a major issue in the Goa polls, worked against the Congress as three of the candidates from Alemao family - Churchil Aleamo (Navelim), his bother Joaquim (Cuncolim) and daughter Valanka suffered defeat in Benaulim.
Similarly, Congress MLA Pandurang Madkaikar's brother Daku Madkaikar contesting from Priol also suffered defeat at the hands of MGP.
Winners among BJP
BJP leaders who won included Ganesh Gaonkar from Sanvordem, Mahadev Naik from Siroda, Kiran Kandolkar from Tivim and Anant Shet from Maem. Ramesh Tawadkar and Nilesh Cabral are other party leaders leading from their respective constituencies.
BJP has managed to gain seats in most of the Congress dominated constituencies like Aldona, Calangute, Sanvordem, Tivim, Vasco, Cotalim, Curchorem and others.
MGP President Dipak Dhavalikar said the combination will stake claim to form the government. "We will form the government in the next two days," he said, adding BJP's Manohar Parrikar is the preferred chief ministerial candidate.
With additional information from PTI