All set for Goa polls

By Frederick Noronha


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Panaji : Election officials say they are all set for the June 2 elections when people in the small but politically fractured state will elect a new 40-member legislature.

In all, 202 candidates are in the fray, most of them from national-level political parties such as the ruling Congress, its ally Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) and the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP).

There are 33 BJP candidates, 32 from Congress, 26 from Maharshtrawadi Gomantak Party (MGP), six from NCP, four from Communist Party of India, 11 from United Goans Democratic Party (UGDP), seven from Shiv Sena and 50 independents.

In case of a hung assembly, the independents and smaller parties could act as powerbrokers – as they have done in the past.

There will be straight fights in only three places including Panaji, where one of the candidates is BJP's former chief minister Manohar Parrikar.

Triangular contests will take place in Poriem, Valpoi, Shiroda, Loutolim, Benaulim, Curtorim and Navelim. Some constituencies have as many as nine contestants each.

Aldona, St. Cruz and Vasco da Gama have the maximum number of candidates. Again, these are where more than a single woman candidate is contesting.

Goa's voters total one million, including 504,582 females. There will be 1,066 polling stations with around 1,500 electronic voting machines.