It’s the smallest state in the country. The total population is only a few lakh people. But in these days, when even class monitor elections are monitored for possible “electoral bombs”, nothing is insignificant. You know, I will never stop making fun of this tweet.
It is not so much the tweet itself and its inherent absurdity, as the frustration of the intellectual who wrote it. You can smell their desperation. You can almost taste the salt in their tears. And that’s the sweetest salt in the whole world.
It’s Goa. It’s a full state. A prosperous state that is pretty as a picture. A state with a (deliberately forgotten) history of brutal Christian inquisition. And a state made great by the capers of the secular Tejpal. Believe me, Goa counts!
And so today, I am calling Goa. It’s a clear cut BJP victory. And that’s not just because the opinion polls are saying so. Although that certainly does help in calming the nerves.
Sure, there were hiccups. The RSS in the state went into open revolt and formed the so called “Goa Suraksha Manch”. The BJP also recently broke with the MGP which has since decided to go with the GSM. And there is a solid Christian vote in the state that will go against BJP. But here are my reasons for calling Goa so early and so easily.
(1) Popularity of Manohar Parrikar : There is no doubt that Manohar Parrikar is several levels above any other Goa politician. The people of Goa simply won’t let him down, for he is their pride in the Central Government. A state like Goa generally doesn’t get much attention. Their regional identity is mixed up with Parrikar’s strength at the Center. As I said, the people of Goa simply don’t want to embarrass Parrikar.
Add to this the fact that Defense Minister Parrikar’s image received a massive boost from the surgical strikes.
(2) Zero Opposition Unity: At present, it is really hard to count how many groups are vying for the “anti-BJP vote”. There is the Congress, there is Goa Forward, there is AAP. This being a small state, every little independent hopes to make it big in post election horse trading.
(3) Parsekar kicking MGP out: A party like MGP is today redundant in Indian politics. They have nothing to offer but the ambition of two deeply corrupt brothers to preserve their ill gotten wealth. The MGP’s strategy of cutting votes and striking a post-election deal is too transparent and these days the people see through this kind of stuff. The vote katwa strategy simply does not work. In fact, Laxmikant Parsekar very likely received an image boost from kicking out the MGP. He came to be seen as someone who can make decisions, instead of someone who is a puppet. The era of “kingmaker parties” making post-poll deals is over. The public wants to see your cards on the table pre-poll!
(4) Concentration of Christian vote: Luckily for the BJP, the Christian vote in Goa is concentrated in around 6 seats of the South Goa region, in Salcete. And who knows, thanks to AAP getting in the race and declaring a Christian as CM candidate, BJP might actually win a seat in Salcete this time 🙂
(5) Stigma attached to Congress in urban areas : For me, this was the big decider! This is why I am calling Goa so early. I know there are small villages in Goa. But essentially, Goa is urban. And if there is one thing that is totally obvious in India today, it is that Congress has just collapsed in urban areas. Absolutely no sign of revival.
This came in just yesterday.
And before that we remember Chandigarh.
Let’s face it. It’s not like the BJP is paving the streets of urban India with gold. But these massive electoral sweeps in urban areas are not because of some amazing work by BJP. Quite simply, the urban voter just doesn’t want to touch the Congress. Sadly for Rahul Gandhi, a stubborn stigma has become attached to the Congress in urban areas. No one wants to touch the Congress. The urban voter uses “corruption” and “Congress” in the same breath.
And so, the Congress simply doesn’t have a chance in Goa. It’s an urban area after all.
(6) Trend of clear electoral verdicts: If there is one stable trend in Indian politics over the last 10 years, it is the movement towards clear mandates. Right now, no one can dispute that the BJP is No.1 party in Goa. The Congress, even if it has an outside chance, will have to huff and puff, bring together allies like NCP, Goa Forward, MGP, AAP and possibly some independents to cobble a majority. That’s the scenario in the mind of the voter. And it is precisely this kind of horse trading that disgusts the new Indian voter and more so the urban voter. A vote for Congress becomes a vote for horse trading. A vote for BJP is a vote for the likely winner who will give a stable government.
So, in conclusion, the Congress is in for a drubbing in Goa. Come February 4, inside the enclosed space of the polling booths, the Congress party is sure to get its fingers burned by the Goa voters. Fortunately for them, their master Rahul Gandhi doesn’t seem to care. He seems to have recused himself from the election and gone for some penance abroad.