Panaji, Dec 12 : Over 56 per cent voting was recorded in zilla panchayat polls on Saturday, including 31 Covid patients, in various polling booths across Goa.
Speaking to reporters in Panaji, State Election Commissioner Chokha Ram Garg said 4.50 lakh out of the 7.92 lakh eligible voters cast ballot in the elections to two zilla panchayat bodies, with a total voting percentage of 56.82 per cent.
“The commission is glad that the polling in all 48 ZP constituencies have been held successfully in a well organised and peaceful manner,” Garg said.
The top official also said that 31 Covid patients wore PPE kits provided by the poll authorities while voting. Covid-19 positive voters were allowed to vote from 4 p.m. to 5 p.m.
“I wholeheartedly thank the people of Goa for coming out in good numbers to cast their vote for zilla panchayat elections 2020, thereby strengthening the grassroot democracy. I am confident of BJP’s success in the elections and assure that we are committed to work for social welfare and development in the rural belts of Goa,” Sawant tweeted after the polling ended.
The BJP as well as the Congress have claimed victory in the polls.
“The peoples wrath against this government was clearly visible on voting day as many people have boycotted the voting. This also proves that Election Commission and this government failed to spread awareness among people to excercise their right,” state Congress president Girish Chodankar said.
Chodankar also accused the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party-led coalition government of using official machinery unfairly in the run-up to the elections.
“BJP used government machinery for campaigning and all its illegally gained power to garner votes. Despite that, we are hopeful of getting victory in majority of the constituencies Aas people have expressed full confidence in Congress Candidates who are committed to protect the Identity of Goa,” the state Congress president said.
The BJP has fielded 43 candidates, while the Congress fielded 38 candidates, followed by the Aam Aadmi Party and the Maharashtrawadi Gomantak Party with 17 each. There are also 79 Independent candidates in the fray.
Aam Aadmi Party Goa convenor Rahul Mahambre has protested the absence of the NOTA option on the ballot paper used for the elections.
“This is most unfair. A NOTA option has to be present on the ballot paper as an option to the voter,” Mahambre said.
The zilla panchayat polls were originally scheduled to be held on March 22, but were postponed after the Central government imposed a nationwide lockdown from March 25 to control the Covid-19 pandemic.
Goa has 50 Zilla Panchayat seats, but one unopposed candidate has already been declared victorious, while a candidate contesting from the Navelim seat in South Goa district has died, forcing the State Election Commission to countermand polling in the constituency.
Disclaimer: This story is auto-generated from IANS service.