Polling reaches 60 percent in Goa

March 3rd, 2012 - 5:25 pm ICT by IANS  

Bharatiya Janata Party Panaji, March 3 (IANS) With less than two hours left for polling in Goa to end, over 60 percent of 10.26 lakh voters had already exercised their franchise in the assembly elections.

While the 23 constituencies in North Goa had recorded 61 percent voting as of 2.45 p.m., South Goa’s 17 seats had polled 59.21 percent.

The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) welcomed the surge.

“People want a change and they are willing to come out in numbers to change the government,” BJP secretary in charge of Goa Aarti Mehra said.

But ruling Congress claimed the heavy voter turnout was ominous for the BJP.

“This is a reinforcement of the government’s good deeds. People from all sections are coming out to back the government and keep communal forces at bay,” Congress working president Francisco Sardinha said.

Polling was largely peaceful barring a few minor incidents in Panaji and Davorlim.

In Panaji, Congress candidate Yatin Parekh and his supporters clashed with senior BJP leader Manohar Parrikar’s followers, forcing police to intervene.

In Davorlim, 40 km from here, in Navelim constituency, police had to escort public works department Churchill Alemao’s daughter Valanka Alemao out of a house where she was campaigning, near a polling booth.

A police inspector was suspended after he did not stop a bus load of passengers who were being ferried to a polling booth in Vasco, 34 km from here.

Two polling officials were replaced in Dongri in St Andre constituency near Panaji and Kundaim in Marcaim constituency, 20 km from here, following complaints that they favoured a particular party.

A total of one million voters are eligible to pick 40 winners from 215 candidates, including nine women.

The main contest is between the ruling Congress-Nationalist Congress Party alliance and the BJP-Maharashtrawadi Gomantak Party coalition. The Trinamool Congress, a new entrant, has fielded 20 candidates.

Ballotting is spread across 1,612 polling stations.

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