Panaji/Margao : The Lok Sabha elections threw a mixed bag in Goa on Thursday. BJP candidate for the North Goa seat Shripad Naik won the election by a margin of 80,247, while the South Goa seat was snatched from the BJP by Congress candidate Francisco Sardinha with the margin of 9755 votes.
Union Minister of State for AYUSH (Independent charge) Naik achieved a feat: he won the seat for the fifth consecutive time.
He won the polls by a margin of 80,247 votes, defeating Congress candidate Girish Chodankar to retain the seat for the BJP.
The Lok Sabha polls were held in the state on April 23.
Chodankar proved to be nearest rival: Naik polled 2,44,844 votes, while Chodankar got 1,64,597 votes.
Interestingly, 7063 people preferred ‘none of the above’ option, which is more than the votes polled in favour of other candidates.
Aam Aadmi Party candidate Dattatraya Padgaonkar managed to get 4756 votes, while Republican Party of India candidate Amit Korgaonkar polled 2809 votes.
Two Independent candidates – Aishwarya Salgaonkar and Bhagawant Kamat – polled 2127 and 2432 votes respectively.
In the postal ballot count, Naik got the highest with 810 votes, while Chodankar fetched 190 votes.
In the South Goa seat, Sardinha polled 2,01561 votes, defeating his nearest rival BJP’s Narendra Sawaikar, who fetched 1,91806 votes.
The Aam Aadmi Party came a distant third with party candidate Elvis Gomes polling 20,891 votes, even as NOTA accounted for 5436 votes.
Shiv Sena candidate Rakhi Naik got 1763 votes, while Independent candidates Kalidas Vaingankar fetched 1413 votes and Mayur Khanconkar received 1705 votes.
There was joy in the Congress camp as Sardinha took an early lead after the first round of vote counting.
The Congress saw the lead swell to around 10,000 votes by fifth round.
The BJP had renewed hope of retaining the seat as counting of the votes polled in party’s strongholds of Curchorem, Canacona, Marcaim and Dabolim were yet to be taken up.
However, hopes were crushed as Sardinha’s lead swelled to over 16,000 votes.
The BJP camp finally conceded defeat despite getting marginal leads in key assembly constituencies.
Speaking to reporters, Sawaikar conceded the defeat, saying that this is the time for introspection.
“I gracefully accept the mandate of the people of South Goa. The people have decided to choose Sardinha as their representative,” Sawaikar said.
He wished Sardinha a fruitful term in Parliament.
The vote counting continued beyond 11 pm as the polling staff could not account for 137 missing votes despite multiple counting the VVPAT slips for over four hours.