Nearly 50 per cent of MLAs sent home in Assembly polls



History is not on the side of Goa's current set of MLAs as they prepare to enter the home stretch in their bid to retain a place in the next Goa legislative assembly by winning the polls due in February-March next year.

Goa's electorate has culled close to half the number of MLAs in each of the five successive general assembly elections held in the last 20-odd years.

In the last assembly election held in 2017, as many as 19 MLAs lost with some being considered political strongmen or leaders of stature. 

Topmost in the list of 2017 losers are Laxmikant Parsekar who was chief minister going into the election, current Himachal Pradesh Governor, Rajendra Arlekar, Dayanand Mandrekar and current Panaji MLA Atanasio (Babush) Monserrate.

Monserrate, who had remained undefeated for multiple elections and bye-elections since becoming MLA for the first time 2002, had lost to Siddharth Kuncolienkar of the BJP in 2017. He however avenged his defeat to Kuncolienkar and returned to the House in the 2019 bye-election necessitated by the death of former chief minister the Late Manohar Parrikar.

Back in 1999, as many as 23 MLAs were shown the door by Goa's electorate. The more famous of the losers then being the outgoing Speaker Tomazinho Cardozo, current Union Minister Shripad Naik and the late Dr Kashinath Jhalmi.

In the mid-term poll of 2002 held after Parrikar had infamously dissolved the Assembly, 17 of the 40 legislators lost.  Former Union minister Ramakant Khalap, current Transport Minister Mauvin Godinho, current Benaulim MLA Churchill Alemao and Mhadei Bachao Abhiyan spearhead Nirmala Sawant were among the better known politicos who lost that 2002 husting.

Although it had the least number of 16 MLAs defeated, the elections in 2007 saw some of the most famous and tallest in stature politicians defeated. It was the election in which big names and long-serving legislators lost. Among them were three former chief ministers -- the late Dr Wilfred de Souza, Luizinho Faleiro and Francisco Sardinha -- besides multiple term legislator Subhash Shirodkar.

Another watershed election for sitting members and stalwarts of the House was the one held in 2012 in which 18 MLAs lost. 

It was the election in which current Opposition Leader Digambar Kamat did manage to retain his Margao bastion but almost the entire cabinet he led -- Ravi Naik, Nilkant Halarnkar, Churchill Alemao, Joaquim Alemao, Aleixo Sequeira and Jose Philip D'Souza -- had lost. 

Another political stalwart to lose that 2012 after four successive wins was Dayanand Narvekar, who is seemingly hoping to make a comeback after 10 years and have a shot at avenging his defeat against current Aldona MLA Glenn Souza Ticlo.

As Goa enters the last two-three months before the next general assembly election is held and its political climate pregnant with a strong anti-incumbency sentiment, there is no apparent reason why the voter will not repeat this history of erasing from the Goa legislative assembly's roster names of many of the current MLAs.

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