BJP maintains dominance in Goa's mining belt

Posted By: PTI
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Panaji, May 18: The BJP has managed to continue its strong impact in Goa's mining belt, which has been reeling under severe recession because of the bad phase that the iron ore extraction industry went through.

During the just-concluded Lok Sabha polls, BJP candidates managed to get double the votes, compared to their nearest rivals from Congress.

The Legislative Assembly constituencies of Quepem, Curchorem, Sanvordem, Sanguem and Bicholim (all falling under the state mining belt) threw their weight behind the BJP candidates, who won in both the North and South Goa LS seats. In Quepem, the saffron party got 11,484 votes compared to 9,763 of Congress, while in adjacent Curchorem, BJP secured 12,047 votes against 6,259 of Congress.

Sanvordem constituency, a hotbed of mining, saw BJP getting four times more votes than Congress. BJP candidate Narendra Sawaikar polled 16,243 votes while Congress' Aleixo Reginaldo Lourenco got 4,400 in this constituency.

In Sanguem, BJP polled 13,070 votes and Congress 5356, while in Bicholim the two parties got 12,959 and 6,268 votes, respectively.

"People were convinced with the affection shown by BJP led state government during their days of crisis. The support provided by Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar for the mining dependent people made them support the party," newly elected BJP MP from South Goa, Narendra Sawaikar told PTI.

The party workers were with the affected people right from the time the mining activity had stopped, he said. The voting (in BJP's favour) was also the outcome of the anger towards Congress, which had pushed them into the crisis situation, alleged BJP state unit spokesman Dr Wilfred Mesquita.

"The state government stood by them (mining closure affected people) and they reciprocated with their support," he said.

Meanwhile, Congress Goa unit spokesman Sunil Kawathankar said the party did not expect such less votes in the mining belt, but the results were being analysed.

Congress' South Goa candidate Aleixo Reginaldo Lourenco, who lost to BJP, said his party's campaign failed to convince people that Parrikar was allegedly behind the crisis faced by the mining industry.

"We had very less time to reach to the electorate," said Lourenco, who claimed that the Congress delayed announcement of its candidates.


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