Goa records 15 per cent voting in first 2 hours; Punjab 11 per cent until 10:30

Goa elections: Manohar Parrikar waits to cast his vote - Sakshi Post

Panaji/Chandigarh: Goa recorded 15 per cent voting in the first two hours, since polling began at 7 a.m., on Saturday for the state's 40 assembly seats, election officials said.

"North Goa district experienced 16 per cent voting and South Goa district polled 14 per cent. Overall voting is 15 per cent," Chief Electoral Officer Kunal told the media here. No untoward situation has been reported so far.

Braving the winter chill, thousands of voters turned out on Saturday morning to cast their vote for the Punjab assembly elections

However, polling at one booth in Cumbharjua constituency was delayed due to EVM machine malfunction but eventually began at 7.45 a.m, Kunal added. Among the early voters on Saturday were Defence Minister and former Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar who cast his ballot in Panaji, while Chief Minister Laxmikant Parsekar voted in his coastal constituency of Mandrem, minutes after the polling started.

Speaking to IANS after casting his ballot, Parsekar expressed confidence that the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) would come to power, when the results are announced on March 11. "There is no doubt about victory. What matters is what we do for Goa after March 11," Parsekar said. Former Goa Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh chief Subhash Velingkar also cast his ballot in Panaji. Velingkar said that the alliance between the Maharashtrawadi Gomantak Party, Goa Suraksha Manch and Shiv Sena would win 22 seats.

"The BJP government has to go and will go. The RSS cadre in Goa will not vote for them. The Goa BJP and Parrikar are responsible for the maladies the state is suffering," Velingkar said. Aam Aadmi Party(AAP) chief ministerial candidate Elvis Gomes also cast his ballot. A total of 251 candidates are contesting the Saturday polls, the main parties in the fray being the ruling BJP, Indian National Congress, AAP, Nationalist Congress Party, Shiv Sena, Maharashtrawadi Gomantak Party, Goa Suraksha Manch, among others.

Meanwhile braving the winter chill, thousands of voters turned out on Saturday morning to cast their vote for the Punjab assembly elections.

Early reports indicated that five to 17 per cent voting was reported from constituencies in various districts. The overall poll percentage (till 10.30 am) was over 11 per cent.

Long queues were seen at most polling stations as voting began in all the 117 assembly constituencies. Voting commenced at 8 a.m. and will continue till 5 p.m. Reports from various places indicated that voters queued up at polling stations much before 8 a.m. Over 1.98 crore electorates will decide the fate of 1,145 candidates, including 81 women and a lone transgender candidate.

There are over six lakh first time voters this time. Voting for by-election to the Amritsar Lok Sabha seat is also being held on Saturday. The main contest is among the ruling Shiromani Akali Dal-Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) alliance, which has been in power in Punjab since 2007, the Congress and the new entrant - Aam Aadmi Party (AAP).

For the first time, Punjab is witnessing three-cornered contests on all the 117 assembly seats. The enthusiasm of voters was almost equal in rural and urban areas. First time voters were issued certificates by district authorities in various assembly constituencies. Among early voters were former Army chief and ex-Governor Gen J.J. Singh (Patiala city) of the Shiromani Akali Dal, and former Finance Minister Manpreet Singh Badal (Badal village) of the Congress.

Tight security arrangements were in place across Punjab and the state's borders with neighbouring states were sealed. There are 22,614 polling stations in Punjab. The counting of votes will take place on March 11. In the 2012 assembly elections, 78.57 per cent of Punjab voters had exercised their franchise.

--IANS


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