Goa: Golden beaches and unfulfilled promises

One of India's smallest states sends only two MPs to Parliament but is an undisputed part of the country. Goa has been a stronghold for the BJP since 2014 and it will be interesting to see if the INC can mount a significant challenge to BJP's dominance.

Background

  • Goa is a state on the south-western coast of India within the coastal region known as the Konkan, separated from the Deccan highlands of the state of Karnataka by the Western Ghats.
  • Goa is a former Portuguese province; the overseas territory of Portuguese in India existed for about 450 years until it joined India in 1961.
  • It is bounded by Maharashtra to the north and Karnataka to the east and south, with the Arabian Sea forming its western coast.
  • It is India's smallest state by area and the fourth smallest by population.
  • Goa has the highest GDP per capita among all Indian states, two and a half times that of the country.
  • It was ranked the best-placed state by the Eleventh Finance Commission for its infrastructure and ranked on top for the best quality of life in India by the National Commission on Population based on the 12 Indicators.

Profile

After India gained independence from the British in 1947, India requested that Portuguese territories on the Indian subcontinent be ceded to India. Portugal refused to negotiate on the sovereignty of its Indian enclaves. On 19 December 1961, the Indian Army invaded with Operation Vijay resulting in the annexation of Goa, and of Daman and Diu islands into the Indian union. Goa, along with Daman and Diu, was organised as a centrally administered union territory of India. On 30 May 1987, the union territory was split, and Goa was made India's twenty-fifth state, with Daman and Diu remaining a union territory.

1) Tourism: Goa is visited by large numbers of international and domestic tourists each year for its white sand beaches, nightlife, places of worship and World Heritage-listed architecture. It has rich flora and fauna, owing to its location on the Western Ghats range, a biodiversity hotspot. However, Goa’s biggest revenue generator is also an area of concern, particularly when it comes to the security of foreign tourists, regulation of banned substances and illegal practices such as the distribution of narcotics.

2) Economy: Goa's state domestic product for 2017 is estimated at $11 billion at current prices. Goa is India's richest state with the highest GDP per capita – two and a half times that of the country – with one of its fastest growth rates: 8.23% (yearly average 1990–2000). Tourism is Goa's primary industry: it gets 12% of foreign tourist arrivals in India. Goa needs to push for more diversification of its economy, and it could potentially focus on a greater emphasis on its primary industries as the state has a rich source of iron ore and adequate port facilities for export/entrepot.

Assessment

Our assessment is that Goa’s two Lok Sabha seats do not exert any amount of sizeable influence during and after elections, particularly in reference to coalition building. We believe that the demise of former CM Manohar Parrikar was a massive blow to both regional and national politics, but we can expect a surge in sympathy vote for the BJP in the upcoming polls.

 

 

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