Polling for Lok Sabha underway in Goa

Panaji, April 23 (Inditop) Voting was underway across 1,339 polling booths for the two Lok Sabha seats in Goa Thursday.

While polling booths opened at 7 a.m., voting picked up only an hour later.

Officials said 132 stations in North Goa and 73 in South Goa have been termed critical but no untoward incident had been reported in the first two hours of polling.

This is the first time that Goa has not been sanctioned any paramilitary personnel by the centre to conduct the polls.

“We are conducting the polls with the exclusive help of our 6,500 strong police force and home guards,” Collector K.S. Singh told IANS, adding that the state government’s request for a dozen companies of paramilitary forces was not been approved by the central government.

Superintendent of Police Tony Fernandes said National Cadet Corps (NCC) cadets have also been roped in for poll duties.

Goa Police’s marine wing have also been instructed to sortie the Arabian Sea and the river channels.

The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) is taking on the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP)-led alliance. While former union minister Shripad Naik of the BJP is contesting against first-time contestant Jitendra Deshprahu of the NCP, former chief minister and sitting MP Francisco Sardinha of the Congress is being challenged by Narendra Savoikar of the BJP.

The Third Front and the Shiv Sena have also fielded their respective candidates in both the constituencies.