BJP, Congress upbeat on winning Goa polls



The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and the Congress have expressed confidence of winning the two Lok Sabha polls and three Assembly by-elections, campaigning for which concluded at 5 p.m. on Sunday. The seats will go to polls on April 23.

Congress state president and North Goa Lok Sabha candidate Girish Chodankar said, here on Sunday, the April 23 round of polls is the first since the BJP "snatched" the people's mandate after the 2017 Assembly elections. Voters would vote in revenge against the BJP in all the five seats, he added.

"The Congress will win Lok Sabha polls and Assembly by-elections by 5-0," Chodankar said.

Chodankar said voters would "unleash" their fury against the BJP, which snatched power in Goa despite emerging as the second-largest party behind the Congress in the 2017 Assembly polls. It had failed to act on key issues, including the resumption of mining, he added.

"The BJP has been unable to resolve the mining row despite being in power in Goa as well as the Centre. The entire mining belt will show their anger against the BJP on April 23," Chodankar said.

The Congress has tied up with the Maharashtrawadi Gomantak Party (MGP), a former BJP ally, for the two Lok Sabha constituencies and one Assembly seat. Midway through the electioneering, the MGP extended support to the Congress for Lok Sabha seats and Mapusa Assembly constituency. 

The MGP is contesting Shiroda Assembly by-election, where its party President Deepak Dhavalikar has emerged as a key contender against BJP's Subhash Shirodkar.

Chief Minister Pramod Sawant, addressing the media on Sunday, said the Lok Sabha elections were about voting for a "new India" under Prime Minister Narendra Modi's leadership and the BJP had convinced voters about the need for electing Modi as the Prime Minister.

"These elections are about nation-building, for a new India and we have convinced people that there is a need to vote for the BJP and elect Modi as the Prime Minister," Sawant said.

"Initially, some people said we would be lagging in South Goa. But Narendra Sawaikar canvassed in all 20 constituencies with such an energy that victory will be ours," he said.

He also expressed confidence about the three Assembly by-elections on account of the state BJP government's performance.

Leaders of other political parties too, which includes Aam Aadmi Party Convenor Elvis Gomes, expressed confidence of winning the two Lok Sabha polls and three Assembly by-elections. IANS