With campaigning drawing to a close in poll-bound Goa, most parties have focused on job creation, tourism development in their manifestos for the state, however, taking the socio-economic index of the state, clean water, sanitation needs prime attention. With drastic changes in political scenario since 2012 assembly polls, Goa gears up to elect a fresh government.
What has changed since 2012 in politics
The political scenario in Goa has changed drastically in comparison to its 2012 assembly polls. As much as other parties would like to deny it, the entry of Aam Aadmi Party to Goa politics has changed political calculations. The primary fight between Bharatiya Janata Party and Congress no longer remains. Another party, Goa Forward, has also made inroads. A breakaway of the Congress in Goa, Goa Forward is working in alliance. While its purpose was to divide the BJP votes in its bastions, the AAP became a strong contender.
Out of the 40 assembly constituencies, the BJP won 21, the Congress 9, the Maharashtravadi Gomantak won 3, Goa Vikas party won 2 and 5 seats were won by independents. This time around thanks to its campaigning strategies and choice of candidates, the AAP remains hopeful of victory.
Voters and their issues
For a state that is known for tourism, it was but natural that boost to tourism featured in manifestos of all parties, however, primary issues of drinking water and sanitation continue to bog down the state. Out of the 5.63 lakh, women and 5.45 lakh men voters 66.09 percent are Hindus, 25.11 percent are Christians and 8.34 percent are Muslims. Goa's literacy rate stands at 87 percent, much ahead of national average of 74 percent. Education of girls continues to remain a concern since female literacy rate stands at 81.8 percent as against male literacy rate of 92.8 percent.
Prime concerns in Goa, at least in the rural regions remains sanitation and drinking water. Leave alone keeping the casinos are getting rid of them from the Mandovi river, many Goans would be happy to receive regular potable water supply. Only about 88.6 percent of Goans have access to water supply by means of piped supply, tube well, bore well, hand pump, dug well etc. This is as against a national average of 91 percent. The difference is glaring. According to the 2013-14 government figures, Goa is way ahead of national average in improvised sanitation. close to 66.7 percent of the population has access to improvised sanitation while the national average is a disappointing 41.8 percent.
Over the last two years, Goa has been maintaining economic growth almost on par with the national average. According to PIB and RBI data. The growth in the service sector has been 8.64 percent while in industries sector, it has been an upward swing of 5.38 percent. The net domestic product growth has been calculated at 7.35 percent. The National Crime Records Bureau data from 2015 reveals that crime rate in Goa adds up to 0.1 percent of total cognizable crimes in the country. For a population of 1 lakh, rate of crime reported under sections of the IPC stands at 156.4 on an average according to NCRB reports.