SOIRU VELIP | NT
Panaji: Although mining dependants had been cross with the BJP over the resumption of mining operations in the state, voting patterns for the recently held Lok Sabha elections indicate that most of voters from the mining belt voted in favour of both the BJP candidates.
However, the BJP failed to retain its South Goa seat, although the voting patterns point out that four assembly constituencies coming under the mining belt sided with saffron party candidate Narendra Sawaikar.
The voting percentage also indicates that there was a good voter turnout in the mining belt, and the BJP nominees polled a good number of votes.
Some political observers opine that Chief Minister Pramod Sawant, who represents the mining-dominated Sankhali constituency, must have been a major factor in pulling votes in the mining belt for the BJP.
The mining dependants, who had taken an aggressive stance towards the BJP in the run-up to the Lok Sabha polls, saw a ray of hope in Sawant.
It is pertinent to note here that Sawant has also been in mining business.
The five assembly constituencies in the North Goa parliamentary seat – Bicholim, Mayem, Sankhali, Poriem and Valpoi – secured a lead of 35,184 votes in favour of Naik, who had faced the ire of the mining dependants during the campaign. Naik secured a total of 76,213 votes in these five constituencies, while Congress candidate Girish Chodankar polled 41,029 votes in the particular assembly seats.
The BJP polled 15,123 votes in Mayem, 14,522 in Bicholim, 14,654 in Sankhali, 16,580 in Poriem and 15,334 in Valpoi.
On the other hand, the Congress fetched 6,182 votes in Mayem, 6,436 in Bicholim, 7573 in Sankhali, 7561 in Poriem and 7149 in Valpoi.
In South Goa, although Sawaikar lost the election to Congress candidate Francisco Sardinha by over 9,000 votes, the voters from the mining-dominated assembly segments – Curchorem, Sanvordem and Sanguem – gave a lead of 14,252 votes to the BJP.
Except for the Quepem assembly constituency, comparatively the BJP candidate polled a good number of votes in the South Goa’s mining belt.
The BJP polled 49,144 votes, while the Congress secured 34,892 votes in these four assembly segments of the South Goa parliamentary constituency.
As per the figures, the Congress got a lead of 1086 votes in the Quepem constituency. In this constituency, Sardinha secured 12,424 votes while Sawaikar polled 11,338 votes.
In the Curchorem assembly segment, the BJP got 11,367 votes as against 7948 for the Congress.
The BJP polled 15,166 votes, while the Congress could manage to poll 6594 votes in the Sanvordem seat.
In the Sanguem assembly segment, the Congress got 7926 votes while the BJP secured 11,273 votes.