Wednesday 17 Jul 2024

Benaulim ZP by-election: BJP, RGP voters leave candidates guessing

The Goan Network | JUNE 18, 2024, 12:31 AM IST


With less than a week to go for the bye-election for the Benaulim Zilla Panchayat seat, questions are being raised in political circles about how the Revolutionary Goans Party and the ruling BJP will approach the election.

Neither the RGP nor the BJP is in the fray for the June 23 bye-poll, where the Aam Aadmi Party is seeking to retain the seat, challenged by three Independent candidates.

Take the case of the BJP. The ruling BJP has little or no presence along the Salcete coastal belt, from Benaulim to Varca, Orlim, Carmona, and Cavelossim, which make up the Benaulim Zilla Panchayat constituency.

This became evident in the recently held Lok Sabha election for South Goa when the BJP, determined to make an impact in Benaulim, came a cropper. Here, the BJP has no base at all, with the party’s South Goa candidate managing to garner just 2506 votes.

Questions, however, are doing the rounds in Benaulim about how the BJP voters will vote in the June 23 bye-polls. Sources said the BJP voters, though negligible in numbers, may keep the contesting candidates in good stead if they vote en bloc in favour of a particular candidate.

Sources, however, said no candidate can afford to claim support from the BJP workers and voters out of fear of polarisation by the rival candidate.

On the other hand, the Revolutionary Goans Party is not in the fray for the June 23 ZP bye-poll. The party, however, had made an impressive debut in Benaulim in the 2022 Assembly election when the party candidate ended the campaign by polling 3854 votes.

In the 2024 Lok Sabha election held recently, RGP South Goa candidate Rubert Pereira managed to poll just 529 votes. Notwithstanding the Lok Sabha election result, sources pointed out that the RGP has its own voter base in Benaulim, with questions raised about how the workers and voters of the nascent regional party will vote in the June 23 bye-poll.

NCP voices concerns over lack of communication

MARGAO: The Nationalist Congress Party (NCP), a partner in the INDIA bloc, has expressed dissatisfaction with the Alliance’s treatment of its leaders and workers in the context of the upcoming Benaulim bye-election. NCP Mahila Chief and Carmona Sarpanch, Sandra Fernandes, criticised the lack of communication from the Alliance and AAP leaders regarding the June 23 Zilla Panchayat poll.

Fernandes stated, “I have not been informed by the Alliance or AAP leaders about the bye-poll. This raises questions about the future of the Alliance in Goa. Despite being the Sarpanch of Carmona, neither I nor the NCP state leadership have been approached.”

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