Sonia’s achievement in defeat

SoniaWhile Bharatiya Janata Party’s may have won from Guirdolim at the Zilla Panchayat elections the actual victory lies with Sonia Fernandes who as the Congress candidate lost by only 593 votes in a constituency that was carved out to benefit the BJP. But there is no denying the fact that complacency amongst her supporters led to her downfall

What is more significant is that the turncoat MLA Clafasio Dias has no reason absolutely to gloat and claim any credit in the victory as the three villages of his Cuncolim constituency rejected the BJP and it won only because of the votes polled in the two villages of neighbouring Quepem constituency.

In the three villages of Cuncolim constituency namely Guirdolim, Chandor Cavorim and Paroda the Congress polled 2577 votes against the meagre 1443 votes polled by the BJP. Although in Paroda where Clafasio resides the BJP got 842 votes against the 617 votes polled by Congress.

However, in the two villages of Quepem namely Balli and Ambaulim the BJP got 3208 votes against the 1503 polled by Congress and this huge lead helped Sanjana win the elections. So the actual credit for her victory should go to the deputy chief minister Babu Kavlekar and not Clafasio Dias.

The Guirdolim constituency had three villages heavily tilting to the BJP namely Balli, Ambaulim and Paroda and the total voters in these three villages were 10,160. In contrast the two villages which can be termed as anti BJP and were heavily involved in the agitation against the three linear projects namely Guirdolim and Chandor Cavorim had together only 5,768 voters which is nearly half that of the other three  villages.

The voter turnout in three villages inclined to BJP was higher than the turn out in the two villages backing Congress. The voter turnout in Balli was 69 per cent while that at Ambaulim was 69 per cent and 61 per cent of the voters in Paroda cast their ballots. In contrast at Guirdolim where Sonia is a panch member the voter turnout was 56 per cent and in neighbouring Chandor only 53 per cent voters turned up to vote.

The low turnout in Chandor and Guirdolim could be either complacency on the part of voters or they decided to boycott the elections engaged as they are in the battle against the three linear projects in Goa. Incidentally that many of the voters are abroad cannot be used as an excuse this time around as most Goans are now at home due to the pandemic.

The BJP and more particularly the turncoat MLA Clafasio Dias has no reason to cheer if one looks at the actual votes cast very minutely. For example in Clafasio’s home village of Paroda only 61 per cent of the voters came out to vote. And though the BJP candidate got 49 per cent of the votes in this village the Congress was not far behind having garnered 35 per cent votes.

It would be pertinent to point out that MLA Clafasio Dias made his electoral debut from Paroda where he first served as a sarpanch before being elected to the Zilla Panchayat and then his wife Seema was elected to the Zilla Panchayat and the outgoing Zilla Panchayat member was his nominee.

In Ambaulim which is a BJP stronghold it secured only 17 votes more than the Congress candidate who got 692 of the total 1630 votes cast in that village. Balli truly gave BJP the lead to get the victory as it polled 71 per cent of the votes cast there as against the only 23 per cent that the Congress bagged.

So ultimately it was Balli that aided BJP as the other two villages of Paroda and Ambaulim vacillated and the Congress gained ground in them though before the defections Paroda village was with the Congress.