Goa records 75 pc voting; BJP leaders claim widespread support for ruling party

Panaji, May 7 (PTI) A high voter turnout of 75.13 per cent cent was recorded on Tuesday in the two Lok Sabha constituencies in Goa in the third phase of the election in the coastal state which concluded peacefully, officials said.

As per data released by the Election Commission of India (ECI) on its mobile app, 75.13 per cent of the registered voters turned out for polling in the two constituencies in the tiny state.

The voting in North Goa was 76.54 per cent, while in South Goa, it was 73.75 per cent, according to the data.

Voting across 1,725 polling stations in the two seats began at 7 am and ended at 6 pm.

All prominent candidates, including Pallavi Dempo (BJP, South Goa), Viariato Fernandes (Congress, South Goa), Rubert Pereira (Revolutionary Goans Party or RGP, South Goa), Shripad Naik (BJP, North Goa), Ramakant Khalap (Congress, North Goa) and Manoj Parab (RGP, North Goa), cast their votes at their respective polling booths.

As per the ECI data, the Poriem assembly constituency in North Goa reported 87.11 per cent polling — the highest — followed by the Sankhalim segment (86.50 per cent) in the same parliamentary constituency.

The Sankhalim assembly seat is represented by Chief Minister Pramod Sawant, while BJP MLA Dr Deviya Rane won from Poriem in 2022.

The Valpoi assembly segment in North Goa stood at the third spot with 82.97 per cent voting.

The Vasco-da-Gama assembly constituency in South Goa recorded the lowest turnout at 67.10 per cent.

While there were no queues outside polling stations in the first few hours, voters started stepping out later in the day.

Goa Legislative Assembly speaker Ramesh Tawadkar claimed higher voter turnout means its advantage BJP.

State Social Welfare Minister Subhash Phal Desai said one booth in his Sanguem assembly constituency recorded 100 per cent voting by 3 pm.

He said electors came out in large number to vote for the BJP.

Goa Congress leader Girish Chodankar, however, said high turnout means people have voted against the establishment (BJP).

More than 11 lakh voters were eligible to exercise their franchise in the two Lok Sabha seats in Goa.

In North Goa, BJP’s sitting MP Shripad Naik was pitted against Congress candidate Khalap. In South Goa, the BJP fielded Pallavi Dempo, executive director of Dempo Industries, against Viriato Fernandes of the Congress.

The South Goa Lok Sabha seat is currently held by Congress MP Francisco Sardinha.

A total of 16 candidates, eight each in North and South Goa Lok Sabha constituencies, were in the fray.

Votes will be counted on June 4.

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