In a crucial win for the ruling BJP party, Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar from Panaji and health minister Vishwajit Rane from Valpoi won 2 assembly seats in the by-election in Goa.

I am thankful to the people of Panaji who elected me. It’s a repeat of the 2012 assembly elections,” said after Chief Minister after his win.

Parrikar, who had resigned in November 2014 to join the Union Cabinet as Defense Minister, has been elected from Panaji constituency since 1994. Moreover, Parrikar, crushed his closest adversary, Congress’ Girish Chodankar, by 4,803 votes when he came back to the state from the Center after the assembly elections.

In the election held on 23rd August, Goa Suraksha Manch (GSM) president Anand Shirodkar pulled 220 votes, while 301 votes for None Of The Above (NOTA) were recorded. According to the results reported today, Parrikar pulled 9,862 votes against 5,059 by Chodankar.

Mr Parrikar assumed office in March after resigning as Defence Minister. When he took charge, he was not an MLA and hence had to get elected to the assembly within six months to continue in the office.

Manohar Parrikar wins the by-election.

The win is of great significance for the BJP as it does not enjoy a majority on its own in the 40-member-assembly. After today’s result  the BJP’s strength rose to 14. Meanwhile, the Congress has 16 MLAs, Goa Forward Party (GFP) and Maharashtrawadi Gomantak Party (MGP) three each, NCP one, while three are held by independents.

The BJP-led coalition comprises the GFP, the MGP and the three independents.

The other winner on the day, Girish Chodankar said he was thankful to the population of Panaji for their “love and affection.”  Additionally, he added, “I might have lost but I have made a place in the hearts of the people of Panaji.

Casino operators will likely view Mr. Parrikar’s victory as a positive sign with the BJP committed to allowing the casinos to continue in the state. With re-election out of the way, all eyes will now shift onto the BJP’s strategy regarding the hotly disputed casino topic. The recent months have seen a variety of problems affect the industry with the courts stepping in and the government unable to agree upon a suitable alternative to the existing site of offshore casinos – the Mandovi River.

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