Soon after casting his vote in the Panaji Assembly bypoll today, Goa Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar expressed confidence in his win despite many predicting a tight contest. The bypoll was necessitated following the resignation of Bharatiya Janata Party MLA Sidharth Kuncolienkar to pave way for Parrikar, who was sent back to state politics in March this year to form the coalition government in the state. As per PTI, He is contesting from the Panaji constituency against Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi’s confidante Girish Chodankar.
Speaking to ANI, soon after casting his vote, the chief minister was quoted as saying by the agency, “no projections but it will be substantial”. When Manohar was asked about winning the Panaji Assembly seat for the sixth successive time, the former Defence Minister was quoted as saying by IANS, “I can’t see any opposition.” The chief minister, when asked about putting extra effort during the bypoll campaign, saying,”Shouldn’t one campaign?”, the agency added.
Apart from Panaji, bypoll is also being held Valpoi, where state Health Minister Vishwajit Rane is pitted against Roy Naik, who is the son of Congress MLA Ravi Naik. Voting for the by-election in these two assembly constituencies is underway after polling started at 8 AM in the morning, IANS said. The report added that that bypoll in Valpoi was needed after Rane resigned as a Congress MLA, before being inducted in the Parrikar-led coalition government.
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The Chief Electoral Officer said that at least 51,000 voters are eligible to caste their votes in both constituencies. Both Congress and the BJP did aggressive campaigning in run up to bypolls, the agency report said.