Goa Elections 2017: Less independents, but more party candidates than last time

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Emergence of new political outfits and failure of the main parties to forge alliance has resulted in decrease in the number of Independent candidates in fray for the upcoming Goa assembly election. However, the total number of candidates contesting the election has gone up by 16% from 215 in 2012 to 250 this time, according to the data from State Electoral Office here.

The number of Independents has plunged by 22% compared to 2012 polls. This time there are 58 Independents who are contesting without any party symbol in different constituencies as compared to 72 during the 2012 polls, shows the data. South Goa has maximum number of Independent candidates — 33 and North Goa has 25, it said. “Newer political parties entering Goa’s political scene coupled with failed alliances seems to be the reason for Independents getting the political platform,” political observers in Goa said.

“Amongst the first timers there is Aam Aadmi Party (AAP), Goa Forward, Goa Suraksha Manch which has given ticket to many candidates who otherwise might have opted to go Independent,” said the observers.

“The alliance between BJP and MGP has broken paving way for more candidates to contest on their tickets, while NCP and Congress too have parted ways providing platform for many of its workers,” they said.

After the scrutiny and withdrawal process, a total 250 candidates are in the fray for 40 assembly constituencies which will go to polls on February 4. While AAP has fielded maximum 39 candidates, Congress is contesting on 37, BJP on 36 and MGP-Goa Suraksha Manch-Shiv Sena combine on 26 followed by NCP on 16 while other political parties together contribute for 38 candidates.

The 2012 Goa polls saw five independents making their way to the State assembly which included Naresh Sawal, Vijai Sardesai, Benajamin Silva, Avertano Furtado and Rohan Khaunte. All are recontesting this time, while Sardesai is contesting on Goa Forward ticket Sawal is in fray on MGP ticket.

Interestingly, of the 72 Independents 57 had lost their deposits due to poor performance in the polls. All Independents together had polled 1,41,517 votes which was 16.67 per cent of the total votes polled during 2012 polls that witnessed 83 per cent polling. The other parties like Goa Vikas Party, Goa Su-Raj Party, Bahujan Mukti Morcha, Communist Part of India are also in the fray.

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