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With only 76 votes extra, Shirodkar adds Shiroda seat to BJP kitty

Ponda: After defecting from Congress party to join BJP, Subhash Shirodkar managed to win the Shiroda seat with a mere margin of just 76 votes on Thursday. He has polled10,661and his rival MGP candidate Pandurang ‘Dipak’ Dhavalikar secured 10,585 votes.

While Congress candidate Mahadev Naik managed to get only 2,402 votes, Goa Suraksha Manch candidate Santosh Satarkar polled 284 votes and Aam Aadmi Party candidate Yogesh Khandeparkar secured 231 and 304 voters preferred to press NOTA button.

Though it’s the 7th victory of Subhash Shirodkar in Shiroda, a mere margin of 76 votes clearly indicates that he had made it on the edge with factors like aggressive campaigning of Minister Govind Gaude and house visits by Chief Minister Pramod Sawant played vital role in his victory. There may be other factors too which went in the favor of Subhash Shirodkar, but these two seems to be vital and might influence almost 1000-1500 votes in Shiroda, said a political expert on Shiroda results.

In the early trends, MGP candidate Deepak Dhavalikar was way ahead of Subhash Shirodkar in Shiroda and Dhavalikar has put everything on stake for this seat. People of Shiroda clearly expressed their unhappiness over Subhash Shirodkar’s joining the BJP from the Congress and the anti incumbency factors too were hovering against Shirodkar.  But as the days passed and Minister Govind Gaude jumped in the campaigning for Shirodkar, the momentum started changing. BJP leaders and party workers too started a targeted campaign by convincing hardcore BJP workers in Shiroda who were against Shirodkar.  

Govind Gaude who is considered as a rival of Deepak Dhavalikar started his aggressive campaign against Deepak with tribal voters in the constituency on his target, while Chief Minister Pramod Sawant started surprise visits to people’s houses in Shiroda. The Chief Minister used to enter any house randomly with sizable votes in his mind and used to interact with family members by urging them to give a chance for BJP candidate in Shiroda.  “Chief Minister of the state visiting people’s houses, having tea with them was really a big occasion for many Shirodkars and it made some impact” expressed senior BJP workers from Shiroda.   

Use of social media too came out as an immersive tool for Subhash Shirodkar and according to sources Minister Gaude’ team was working on it effectively. From making a song for Shirodkar to anti Deepak videos, all were spreading rampantly in Shiroda even on the voting day.  

A political expert also expressed that Deepak was sailing smoothly in Shiroda until the removal of his brother Sudin Dhavalikar from the cabinet with two of MGP’s MLA’s switching to BJP. From there the momentum started going against MGP and Lavoo Mamletdar’s removal from the party widened the damage. All these factors went clearly against MGP paving the way for Subhash Shirodkar. Compared to 2017 elections, the vote share of Subhash Shirodkar declined by almost 500 votes.

In 2017 Shirodkar had managed to get 11156 votes and had won the elections by a margin of 4870 against Mahadev Naik. But this time (2019) Shirodkar has got 10661 votes against 10585 of Deepak Dhavalikar and a margin here is just 76 votes.  In the postal votes (made by government servants on election duty) had played a curial role this year with 239 votes, Shirodkar has managed to get 134 of them against 77 of Deepak Dhavalikar.

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