India

Goa BJP may replace most sitting MLAs in 2022 elections

Naveen Bharat Editorial

MUMBAI: To avoid an anti-incumbency wave, the ruling BJP in Goa is likely to replace most of its sitting BJP MLAs with fresh and young faces for the 2022 elections. The saffron party is ruling Goa since 2014 and there is an anti-incumbency wave. On the ground that could damage the prospects of Chief Minister Pramod Sawant.

In the last assembly elections, the party had dropped 15-20 per cent of its sitting MLAs. The figure could be much higher this time in view of public dissatisfaction over governance issues like poor handling of COVID-19 and death of patients due to non-supply of oxygen in hospitals. The Goa Bench of the Bombay High Court had also strongly targeted the government over the deaths of Kovid.

Goa BJP in-charge Devendra Fadnavis has held a meeting with senior BJP leaders and MLAs. He is said to have apprised them of the uncertainty over fielding sitting MLAs in the upcoming elections. “The entry of AAP and TMC has intensified the fight for Goa. It is difficult to predict the chances of a particular candidate in a multi-cornered battle. The margin of victory in such a battle is very small. Sumit Naik, a senior journalist from Goa, said such situations could be in favor or against the BJP.

Naik said the Congress had won 17 out of 40 seats in the 2017 assembly elections, while in some seats it had to face defeat by a small margin. “The BJP was able to form the government at the last minute because of the sluggish conduct of the Congress party. People almost voted BJP out of power in 2017. Hence, the party is unlikely to field the same candidates,” Naik further said. The ruling BJP will also face the might of Shiv Sena and NCP in the elections. A senior leader said the saffron party could not repeat its experiment of changing CMs and ministers in the poll-bound states in Goa.

Experiment not repeated elsewhere
In other electoral states, the BJP changed either chief ministers or ministers, while in Gujarat it changed the entire cabinet. In Goa, however, the party is likely to replace several sitting MLAs.

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