Goa casts its vote today in a single phase and Chief Minister Pramod Sawant has said “I’m fully confident that BJP will win 22+ seats”, as per ANI. The agency reported him saying “PM Modi called me in the morning today to give his best wishes”. Further, Sawant added “The infrastructure development by BJP in 10yrs & PM Modi’s self-reliant vision will definitely benefit us with a 100% majority”, according to ANI reports.
Sawant contests the elections from the Sanquelim constituency, which has turned the small North Goa spot into a political hotbed. Congress’ Dharmesh Sanglani, Aam Aadmi Party’s Manoj Gandhi Amonkar, Maharashtrawadi Gomantak Party’s Mahadev Yeshwant Khandekar and new-entrants Revolutionary Goans Party’s Sujay Gauns are also contesting the seat. The state’s Chief Minister, who took over after Manohar Parrikar’s death in 2019, faces the challenge of the Parrikar legacy, oft-referred to by the BJP itself.
Further, how Sawant fares could reflect BJP’s own performance in Goa. The ruling party faces some hurdles with Manohar Parrikar’s son, Utpal, deciding to contest as an independent candidate. He is fighting for the Panaji seat. Former Chief Minister, Laxmikant Parsekar, also quit the party to contest as an independent. At the time of resigning, he’d said, “The development work I have done in the last five years has been deliberately put on hold. Its grief is in my mind. That development work must be completed”. He will be fighting for the Mandrem
Goa has a total of 301 candidates in the fray and the 2022 assembly election sees the BJP going it alone without forming any alliances. They’re contesting all 40 seats. While polling takes place today, February 14, votes will be counted and results declared on March 10.
Along with Goa, Uttarakhand has also begun polling today. Meanwhile, Uttar Pradesh enters Phase II of the elections, which sees the battle for 55 constituency seats.