Current Affairs

127 election candidates forfeit deposits

With 215 candidates vying for 40 seats in the Goa legislative assembly, there were bound to be 175 losing candidates. However, among these 175, there exists another sub-group of 127 candidates who together contributed a tidy sum of over 6 lakh to the exchequer. These candidates polled a meagre number of votes, and had to forfeit their individual election deposits of 5,000.

Prominent among these are former Goa chief minister Wilfred de Souza who contested from Aldona constituency. The 84-year-old, who is the Trinamool Congress (TC) president in the state, secured just 643 votes in a constituency where 20,289 voters voted. In Bicholim, former transport minister who was also a former MGP president Pandurang Raut could muster only 720 votes. Raut was in the NCP before hopping to the Trinamool Congress before the election.

Interestingly, 19 of the 20 Trinamool Congress party candidates lost their deposits. The party was viewed by political analysts as being part of a strategy to leech votes of Congress party candidates.

Former Margao Muncipal Council chief Savio Coutinho who contested on a Trinamool Congress ticket in Margao challenging outgoing chief minister Digambar Kamat polled 1,873 votes. But this couldn’t prevent him from joining his deposit-losing TC colleagues.

The NCP, which was obliterated from the state political scene, saw three candidates losing deposits.

Deputy mayor of Panaji Rudresh Chodankar who polled 3,585 votes in Mayem constituency, Fermeena Khaunte (1,217 votes) in Porvorim and Suresh Parulekar (1,729 votes) in Saligao were the deposit-forfeiting NCP candidates.

The Congress party, too, had to face the ignominy of four candidates polling less than 1/6{+t}{+h} of the total votes in their constituency. The four are Dhaku Madkaikar (1,625 votes) in Priol, Govind Sawant (1,328 votes) in Sanvordem, Caitan Xavier (3,393 votes) in Cortalim and M K Shaikh (660 votes) in Fatorda.

Fifty-seven independents too had to forego their deposits with former Congress MLA Giovanni Karl Vaz (1,394 votes) in Vasco being prominent among them. All five candidates of the two Communist parties- CPI and CPM- relinquished deposits.

Keeping them company were both Goa Su-Raj Party candidates. Similarly, five UGDP candidates lost their deposits. With none of their candidates winning, the UGDP is also likely to lose its status as a recognized party as well as its historically-relevant two leaves symbol.

Though Francisco ‘Mickky’ Pacheco’s Goa Vikas Party managed to win two seats, six of the party’s candidates are among the deposit losers.

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