Panaji: Registering its nationwide sweep in Goa as well, the Bharatiya Janata Party on Thursday won the bypolls to Mandrem, Shiroda and Mapusa assembly segments, but lost the crucial Panaji seat to Atanasio ‘Babush’ Monserrate of the Congress.
The saffron party lost the Panaji assembly segment after holding sway over it for 25 years: the seat was represented by former chief minister Manohar Parrikar.
Congress candidate Monserrate defeated BJP candidate Sidharth Kunkalienkar in the Panaji bypoll by 1,758 vote margin.
Monserrate polled 8,748 votes, while Kunkalienkar secured 6,990 votes in the prestigious seat.
BJP candidate for the Mapusa bypoll Joshua D’Souza retained the seat for the party by taking a lead of 1,151 votes.
D’Souza secured 11,167 votes, while Congress candidate Sudhir Kandolkar polled 10,016 votes
In Shiroda, Subhash Shirodkar of the BJP won the bypoll with the margin of only 76 votes. Shirodkar, who had defected from the Congress last October, defeated his nearest rival Pandurang ‘Dipak’ Dhavalikar of the MGP.
Shirodkar secured 10,661 votes while Dhavalikar polled 10,585 votes.
BJP candidate Dayanand Sopte won the Mandrem assembly bypoll with a margin of 4,125 votes, defeating his nearest rival Jit Arolkar.
Sopte polled 13,468 votes, while Arolkar secured 9,343 votes. Congress candidate Babi Baghkar polled 4,122 votes. Swaroop Naik of the Goa Suraksha Manch fetched 632 votes in the byelection, which was held on April 23.
The Mandrem bypoll polled a total of 27,682 votes.
The byelection in the Mandrem constituency was necessitated after the former Congress MLA Sopte quit as a legislator and joined the BJP. He had left the Congress along with former Shiroda MLA Subhash Shirodkar.
The Mandrem bypoll had exposed cracks within the BJP as former chief minister and senior BJP leader Laxmikant Parsekar had expressed his unhappiness over the induction of Sopte in the party.
He had been rebellious, but was later pacified.
Parsekar had made peace with the BJP, announcing that he would not go against the party.