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Politics of Goa

At the time of Goa's liberation from the Portuguese rule, the politics of Goa was dominated by two regional parties, the Maharashtrawadi Gomantak Party (MGP) and the United Goans Democratic Party (UGDP). Over the years, the political scene has matured and national parties like the Congress Party and Bhartiya Janata Party are now the leading political forces in the region.

Initially Goa was part of the Goa, Daman and Diu union territory, but it became the 25th state of the Indian Union in May 1987. It now has two distinctive districts, North Goa and South Goa, while the districts of Daman and Diu now form a separate Union Territory. Panaji is the headquarter of North Goa, while Margao is the headquarter of the South Goa. These two districts are further demarcated into six divisions and 11 talukas. Towns and many villages in Goa have their own governing body. Recent records show that total number of villages in Goa is 383 and 188 villages have Panchayats- the governing body. The 31 towns of the state are governed by 14 municipal councils.

Goa has witnessed a lot of political unrest during the last decade and a half, with 14 governments occupying the seat of power between 1990 and 2005. However, the power struggles have never filtered down to the streets and the day-to-day functioning of the region has not been affected by the happenings in the corridors of power.

Various political ideologies thrive in the pluralistic political climate of the region, without much incidents of arson and violence. The state's capital is Panaji and it acts as the legislative and administrative capital of the state. Goa has a unicameral legislative assembly with 40 members, and it contributes two seats to the Lok Sabha and one to the Rajya Sabha- the two houses of the Indian Parliament.

The executive power rests with the Chief Minister, who heads the majority party or coalition in the Legislative Assembly, while the Governor, who is appointed by the President of India, has a largely ceremonial role. The ruling government is formed by the party or the coalition of parties that have a majority in the legislative assembly. The present Chief Minister of Goa is Digambar Kamat and a Congress-led coalition is ruling the state.

Goa's judiciary operates from the Bombay High Court although Goa does have a bench of the High Court in Panaji. One unique feature of Goa's political scene is that unlike other states of the Indian Union that have separate civil laws for different religious communities, Goa has the Portuguese Uniform Civil Code that is based on Napoleonic Codes. The politics of Goa is showing signs of stability after a long time.

Last Updated On: 2011/07/01


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M. Clement

Posted on 2011-09-05Very informative page on goa politics