The two assembly constituencies of Panaji and Valpoi that went to by-polls in Wednesday witnessed a 75 percent voter turnout. The Bhartiya Janata Party (BJP )and the Indian National Congress (INC) have both claimed victory in the two seats. There was a minor altercation in each constituency besides which the poll was peaceful.
The polling was concluded by 7 pm and according to the statistics provided by the Chief Electoral Officer, Panaji constituency saw a 70 per cent of the electorates casting their votes, whereas the figure for the Valpoi constituency was 79.80.
In Panaji constituency, Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar of the BJP is contesting against Congress’ Girish Chodankar and Goa Suraksha Mancha’s Anand Shirodkar. While in Valpoi, Health Minister Vishwajeet Rane of the BJP is contesting against Congress’ Roy Naik.
CM Parrikar has claimed that low voting percentage was a sign that his opponents failed to get any traction from the voters and expressed confidence in winning the by-polls in both the assembly constituencies with a huge margin. He further claimed that around 98 per cent BJP voters had exercised their franchise in both the constituencies.
The CM also claimed that he was satisfied with the conduct of polling authorities.
However, the Congress has alleged a bias by polling authorities towards the BJP. “In Panaji, I was fighting alone on one side, while Parrikar was backed by his ministers and the poll officials. It was not a fair contest,” All India Congress Committee (AICC) secretary Chodankar was quoted by IANS.
Chodankar further claimed that his party is confident of wining in Panaji and Valpoi since the voters have voted for change and in anger. “People wanted change. They will throw out the Chief Minister and the Health Minister. We are confident of winning both seats,” the Chodankar told IANS.
Subhash Velingkar, the former state Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) chief who supports the Goa Suraksha Manch claimed that his party’s candidate will win the by-poll in Panaji constituency. “RSS workers will not vote for him and our Anand Shirodkar will win this election, with a small margin,” Velingkar said.
The counting of votes for both the assembly constituencies will take place on August 28.
Image credit: InGoaNews