Panaji: Elections to the 40-member Legislative
Assembly in Goa would be held on March 3, where 10.25 lakh
voters will decide the fate of 215 candidates, including nine
women and 74 independents in the fray.
The coastal state is the first in the country to adopt
Poll Monitoring System in the assembly elections. Under the
system, photographs and fingerprints of all voters will be
captured on computers.
The voting will begin from 7 AM and would be held at 1612
polling booths with 10,644 poll personnel on duty.
Joint Chief Electoral Officer Narayan Navti said all
measures have been taken to ensure a fair and free election in
He said a total of 3526 local policemen along with
companies of para military forces have been deployed to
prevent any lawlessness.
The list of sensitive and hyper sensitive constituencies
have already been drawn up. The areas of St Cruz and Chimbel,
adjoining Panaji city have been declared as troubled, where
police presence is thick.
The Election Commission has also identified 180 critical
and vulnerable polling booths in the state, which will be kept
under special supervision of micro observers.
While the actual fight is set to be between Congress-NCP
and BJP-MGP, the introduction of Trinamool might spring
political surprises in many constituencies.
The 2012 election might come out with some surprising
verdicts as the Congress is facing internal rift. While
several senior leaders from Congress party are upset over
ticket distribution and are contesting as independents, BJP in
alliance with MGP might gain.
Leader of opposition Manohar Parrikar is seeking
re-election from Panaji constituency and Chief Minister
Digamber Kamat from Margao.
The political strength of former Congress Chief Minister
Pratapsingh Rane and his son Vishwajit Rane would also be
tested when elections would be held in their stronghold of
Poriem and Valpoi.
The fate of controversial Churchill Alemao family, which
has been awarded four seats by Congress-NCP alliance, will be
also tested from constituencies of Navelim, Cuncolim, Benaulim
The controversial sitting MLA of Taleigao Atanasio
Monserrate, who is trying his luck from neighbouring St Cruz
constituency is also facing a tough battle with independent
Rudolf Fernandes and MGP's Dinar Tarcar. His wife Jennifer is
contesting from Taleigao constituency.
Former Tourism minister and Supremo of Goa Vikas Party
Micky Pacheco, is also eyeing a win in Nuvem, a hometown of
sitting MLA and Congress candidate Alexio Sequiera.
UPA President Sonia Gandhi and Prime Minister Manmohan
Singh addressed election meetings in the state while BJP had a
majority of its national leaders including party President
Nitin Gadkari addressing meetings in the state.