With campaigning for the 40 Assembly seats Goa concluding on Saturday, the state will go to polls in a single phase on Monday. The incumbent Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) is being challenged by Congress, Trinamool Congress and Aam Admi Party (AAP) in a multi-cornered electoral contest in Goa.
Goa Assembly has a strength of 40 members out of which the BJP currently has 17 legislators and enjoys the support of legislators from Maharashtrawadi Gomantak Party (MGP), Vijay Sardesai of the Goa Forward Party (GFP), and three independents. The GFP and MGP each have three MLAs, and Congress, on the other hand, has 15 MLAs in the house.
A total of 301 candidates from different political parties are in the fight for Goa elections.
The ruling BJP, Congress, Trinamool Congress and Aam Aadmi Party remain principal contenders for the Assembly elections in Goa along with Shiv Sena.
However, Utpal Parrikar, son of former Chief Minister Manohar Parikkar, is also contesting as an independent candidate from his father’s traditional Panaji Assembly seat. He had resigned from the BJP after he was denied a ticket from the Panaji Assembly constituency.
The BJP has fielded Congress party turncoat Atanasio “Babush” Monserrate from the Panaji seat. He had joined the BJP along with nine other MLAs in 2019 from Congress.
The Panaji Assembly seat has its own importance in the electoral politics of the state. Former Union Minister for Defense Manohar Parrikar, who had represented Panaji, had been a three term Chief Minister of the state.
Goa witnessed intense electioneering by the top leaders of various political parties.
Senior Congress leader P Chidambaram along with the AICC in-charge Dinesh Gundu Rao canvassed in Goa, seeking votes for works carried out by the Congress led governments in the past, slamming political rivals for hampering welfare of the people in the state.
Goa Pradesh Congress Committee President Girish Chodankar also posted a video message for voters in Goa. He recalled works done by the Congress led government in the past in the state.
Similarly, several candidates of the BJP, Congress and TMC along with other political parties posted video messages, highlighting the developmental works carried out by them in their respective constituencies.
Meanwhile, AAP national convenor and Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal also promised cash assistance for every woman above the age of 18 years and other benefits for many communities if his party came to power in the state.
Shiv Sena leader Aaditya Thackeray on Saturday highlighted that the model of good governance in Maharashtra should be replicated in all other states.
The AAP has declared lawyer turned politician Amit Palekar as its Chief Ministerial face for the Goa Assembly polls.
The counting of votes in poll-bound Goa will take place on March 10.