The Bharatiya Janata Party on Thursday lost the Panaji Assembly constituency of Goa to the Congress for the first time in 25 years in a bye-election. The bye-poll was necessitated by the death of long-time MLA and Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar in March.
The BJP won all other three Assembly seats that had bye-elections in the state along with the Lok Sabha elections since April. The votes cast in all elections are being counted on Thursday.
In Panaji, Congress candidate Atanasio Monserratte got 8,748 votes, defeating the BJP’s Sidharth Kuncalienker by 1,758 votes. The constituency had voted on May 19. In the Assembly election in 2017, Kuncalienker had defeated Monserratte by around 1,600 votes, but later vacated the seat to allow Parrikar a place in the Assembly after he was picked chief minister.
The BJP had won the Panaji constituency since 1994.
The other three constituencies that had bye-elections were Mandrem, Mapusa and Siroda. With all of these going to the BJP, the bye-elections took the party’s strength in the Assembly to 17 members and the Congress’ to 16. The BJP has support from three members of the Goa Forward Party and three independents.