Goa, India’s smallest state, is voting for its
40-member Assembly on Monday. The coastal state has seen a flurry of political
activity in the lead-up to the polls with aspiring national players attempting
to bring Goa under its influence. The political contest in Goa is primarily
between the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and the Congress.

Also Read | Goa election 2022: What are the key issues and where do political parties stand?

The 2022 Goa Assembly elections are perhaps the
most-anticipated elections in Goa in several years. Here are the top 10 battles
in Goa one needs to watch out for:


A mining town, Sanquelim is the constituency of
sitting Goa Chief Minister Pramod Sawant. Sawant has been leading the BJP’s
poll charge for the state elections. In 2017, Pramod Sawant won the Sanquelim
constituency by 2,131 votes.

Also Read | Goa Elections 2022: Can Pramod Sawant pass ‘Parrikar legacy’ test?

The 48-year-old Ayurvedic doctor-turned-chief minister
will be going up against Congress’ Dharmesh Sanglani. Sanglani too is a major
player in the constituency. While he did lose to Sawant in the 2017 polls, he
is the head of the Sanquelim Municipal Council where in recently scored another


Valpoi is the constituency of Goa health minister
Vishwajit Rane. Located on the foothills of the Western Ghats, Valpoi has been
a family stronghold for Rane. In the 2017 elections, Vishwajit Rane contested
the polls on a Congress ticket. However, after the grand old party failed to
form the government in the state, he quickly shifted to the BJP and later went on
to become the state’s health minister.

Also Read | Goa votes for 40 seats: Big politics in India’s smallest state

What makes the Valpoi battle interesting is that Rane
is said to have been nursing chief ministerial ambitions even while the BJP has
maintained that Sawant will remain CM if the party returns to power.


Fatorda is the constituency of firebrand leader Vijay
Sardesai. Sardesai heads the Goa Forward Party and played a key role in forming
the BJP government in Goa following the 2017 Assembly elections which delivered
a hung verdict.

This time, however, Sardesai has returned to his
anti-BJP positioning. He is contesting the 2022 Assembly polls in alliance with
the Congress. Against Sardesai stands his long-time rival Damu Naik of the BJP.


Dabolim is one of those constituencies where ecological
concerns are expected to tilt the poll scales. The constituency has seen raging
protests against the coal-hub infrastructure, a power transmission line, a
railway line and a highway. In line with local concerns, the Congress has
fielded Captain Virato Fernandes, a grassroots activist fighting for environmental
issues, in the constituency. The BJP is represented by Mauvin Godinho.


Marcaim is the stronghold of Maharashtrawadi Gomantak
Party (MGP). Ramkrishna Sudin Dhavlikar, the leader of the MGP, has been
winning this constituency multiple times since 1999. In 2017, Dhavlikar won with
the highest electoral margin.

Also Read | Former CM Manohar Parrikar’s son Utpal to contest as independent from Panaji

This time, the MGP is contesting the elections in
alliance with the West Bengal-based Mamata Banerjee-led Trinamool Congress.
While there has been no official announcement, Dhavlikar is considered the
chief ministerial candidate of the alliance.