Goa polls peaceful, over 52 percent votes cast (Third Lead)April 24th, 2009 - 12:22 am ICT by IANS
Panaji, April 23 (IANS) Voting for Goa’s two Lok Sabha seats passed off peacefully Thursday, with an estimated voter turnout of 52.39 percent, an election official said.
“There was 56 percent (approx) voting in the North Goa constituency and 49 percent (approx) voting in South Goa,” joint chief electoral officer K.B. Surjuse told reporters. He said that three polling stations in the relatively remote regions of Goa were yet to report to the district headquarters and the data on the Electronic Voting Machines was being recorded.
The voting, which began at a slow pace in the morning, picked up in the afternoon, before tapering off at the end, election officials said. The elections saw a comparatively 6 percent lesser turnout than the last elections in 2004, when a voting percentage of 58.77 was recorded.
In South Goa, the highest voting percentage was recorded in the Sanguem assembly segment - 59.44 percent, while in North Goa the Pernem assembly segment topped at 68.81 percent.
The lowest voting percentage was in the constituency of Panaji, the capital of Goa at 42.68 percent.
Two senior citizens who had queued up to vote at their respective polling booths in Nuvem and Fatorda, in South Goa, died of heart attacks.
The two Lok Sabha constituencies in Goa have 20 assembly segments each. The main contestants for the North Goa seat are former union minister Shripad Naik (Bharatiya Janata Party) and two-time legislator Jitendra Deshprabhu (Nationalist Congress Party).
The main contestants in South Goa are first-time contestant Narendra Sawaikar (BJP) and former chief minister and sitting MP Francisco Sardinha (Congress).
Both the BJP and the Congress state leaders maintain they would sweep the two Lok Sabha seats.
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