Voting is underway here for the election to the lone Rajya Sabha seat from Goa. There is a straight fight between Goa BJP president Vinay Tendulkar and state Congress chief Shantaram Naik for the seat. Naik, a sitting Rajya Sabha member, is seeking a third consecutive term. As many as 18 legislators from the ruling group cast their votes after polling began in the Legislative Assembly building in Porvorim at 10 am. During the first two hours, 36 out of the 38 legislators, who are eligible for voting, cast their votes.
The result will be announced later in the day. The BJP has 12 legislators in the 40-member state Assembly. Its allies comprise Goa Forward Party and Maharashtrawadi Gomantak Party having three legislators each, and three independents, taking its tally to 21. The Congress has 16 MLAs in the state. Two MLAs – Siddharth Kuncolienkar and Vishwajit Rane – had earlier resigned. NCP MLA Churchill Alemao has kept his cards close to his chest.
Alemao yesterday said he would not like to disclose whom he was supporting. Tendulkar had earlier expressed confidence about his victory. “The numbers are with us,” he said, Naik also said he was hopeful of winning the election. Meanwhile, the Congress legislators were huddled in a meeting this morning after it emerged that there was cross-voting in the presidential poll held on Monday.