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The Results & Post-Mortem

Goa Opinion Poll

The Results & Post-Mortem

The source of the following statistics is a book on the Analytical study of the Opinion Poll voting pattern named as GOA OPINION POLL compiled by five writers namely, Suresh G. Amonkar, Pundalik G. Gaitonde, Eufemiano Dias, Gurudas Duclo and Mohan Tamba. The discrepancies in the total number of votes seen in the table and the below mentioned tally is probably errors in the compilation of the statistics.

In the final analysis it was noted that nine constituencies polled over 90 percent of votes, 13 constituencies polled over 80 percent of votes and the remaining six constituencies polled over 70 percent of votes. Mormugao drew a majority of 16,000 voters amongst all the constituencies, while Diu with 5, 948 drew the least number of voters.

Main reasons attributed for the defeat of the pro-merger forces were as follows:

  • The MGP was not well organized.
  • There was a split in the MGP leading to loss of its voter bank in the Opinion Poll.
  • In the three years of its rule before the Opinion Poll, MGP was beset with misrule.
  • There was lack of rapport between the MLAs & MPs of the MGP.
  • MGP relied heavily on the support of Maharashtra.
  • MGP did not lay stress on the economic development of Goa
  • The statement of pro-merger forces branding anti-merger elements as anti-national boomeranged.
  • Exposure of Goan voters to the adverse criticism by the Marathi Press in Maharashtra which brought to light failings of Maharashtra and stressed the scarcity conditions in the State.
  • There was creation of small pockets of vested interest amongst MGP supporters, MLAs, Marathi primary school teachers, drivers, shopkeepers, tradesmen, bhandaris, etc.
  • Adverse effect of matter of assurances given by the Chief Minister of Maharashtra.
  • Daily Rashtramat, the anti-merger Marathi daily was credited with having carried out effective propaganda, which won over a large number of voters to the Union Territory status.
  • Money power used by the MGP rebounded back
  • The aggressive attitude of Maharashtra leaders led to estrangement of a large number of voters.
  • Distribution of large amounts of money which fell into wrong hands for organizational activities led to the pro-merger debacle.
  • Fear of many Goans of losing their separate identity as a result of merger with Maharashtra reflected in the outcome.
  • Statements made by Mr. M. S. Amey, Vidarbha leader who appealed to Goans to vote against merger boomeranged.

The overall result of the Opinion Poll was as follows:
Total electorate …………………….. 3, 88,392
Votes cast …………………………… 3, 17,633
Rejected votes ……………………….. 7,272
Valid votes ………………………...... 3,10,361
Anti –merger votes ………………… 1, 72,191
Pro-merger votes:…………………….. 1,38,170
Margin of victory ……………………. 34, 021

Newspapers all over India like
'The Mall from Madras, The Hindu' from Madras, 'The Statesman' from Calcutta, 'The Times of India’ from Bombay, 'The Free Press Journal from Bombay, ‘The Hindustan Standard from Calcutta, 'The Deccan Herald from Bangalore, ‘The Hindustan Times' from Delhi and 'The Indian Expressfrom Bombay covered the build-up, the conduct and the post-Opinion Poll scenario in Goa extensively and each of them commented positively on the verdict of the Opinion Poll and its effect on not only Goa but similar other cases of Union Territories within the Indian Union.

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