Goa witnessed a record turnout in the elections for its 40 seats on Saturday, with 81 per cent of the voters exercising their franchise.
North Goa district reported a big participation, with the constituencies of Poriem, Sanguem and Madkai recording 89% voting, followed by Sankhalimat with 87%, while an estimated 75% voters voted in South Goa.
The previous highest polling in the state was in 2007, when 70.51% of the electorate had voted.
A booth near Margao reported 100% voting by 3.30 pm, 90 minutes before the close of polling. Two booths, one in Poriem and another in the Sankhalim constituency, had recorded 95% voting by 4 pm.
The figures received till 4pm indicated people in the mining belt came out in large numbers to vote.
Minor scuffles were reported during the day. The Congress’s Panaji candidate, Yatin Parekh, is reported to have hurled abuses at BJP workers while PWD minister Churchill Alemao is said to have entered into an argument with a police officer in front of the media in his Navelim constituency.
Aarti Mehra, who is in charge of the BJP’s Goa desk, said the large turnout meant people wanted a change. “We had received good response during our campaigning. I have addressed at least 25 meetings and the response to these meetings was enormous,” she said.
Mehra said the BJP-Maharashtrawadi Gomantak Party alliance would win more than 25 seats. “The alliance is really working well,” she added.
The Congress said the high turnout did not mean victory for a particular party. “It is welcome that people have come out in large numbers to vote. We are sure they will be voting for the Congress-NCP,” the party’s chief spokesman in Goa, Shantaram Naik, told PTI.