The ruling BJP in Goa looks all set to score a hat-trick in the coastal State with the support of the Maharashtrawadi Gomantak Party (MGP), political observers said, as vote counting trends of the February 14 elections indicated a hung House.

As per the latest trends for all the 40 Assembly seats in Goa, BJP was leading in 18 seats, while Congress was ahead in 12 seats. MGP was ahead in 5 seats, AAP and Goa Forward Party in one each, and Independents were ahead in three seats.

As no party will reach the 21-seat mark on its own, MGP will decide who will form the next government in Goa, a senior political analyst said. Indications are that it will side with BJP in return for Deputy CM’s post and key portfolios, he added.

CM Pramod Sawant was trailing in Sanquelim constituency, while Health Minister Vishwajit Rane, a prominent contender for the CM’s post, was leading in Valpoi constituency.

The ruling BJP is seeking a third straight term in power in the coastal State, while the opposition Congress may not get the numbers to avoid a repeat of the 2017 fiasco when it failed to form government despite emerging as the single largest party.