After an acrimonious campaign, Goa is all set for the Assembly polls on Saturday which will witness a contest among ruling BJP, opposition Congress, new entrant AAP and the three-party alliance forged by MGP, GSM and Shiv Sena.
Over 11 lakh voters in Goa are eligible to exercise their right to franchise to elect members for the 40-seat state Assembly. Voting across 1,642 polling booths in the state would begin tomorrow at 7 AM and culminate at 5 PM.
The Chief Electoral Officer, working under the guidance of Election Commission of India (ECI), has deployed trained staff to conduct polling which would be provided security cover jointly by state police and paramilitary forces.
The fate of five former chief ministers and present CM Laxmikant Parsekar will be decided in the election which is being contested by 250 candidates--131 in South Goa and 119 in North Goa. The counting of votes will be held on March 11.
There are speculations that Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar might be sent back to Goa to be the next chief minister, if BJP retains power in the tourist state.
BJP, Congress, Aam Aadmi Party, and MGP and its allies are the major contenders this time.
The Arvind Kejriwal-led party, which has for the first time forayed into Goa, is contesting on 39 seats. Congress is contesting on 38 seats and BJP on 37.
BJP, which had pre-poll alliance during the 2012 Assembly polls, is going alone this time but is supporting independents in four constituencies.
The ruling party, which had projected Parrikar as the chief ministerial face in 2012, had then contested on 28 seats while Congress fought on 34 seats.
The Parrikar-led party had in 2012 garnered 34.68 per cent of vote share as against 30.78 per cent of Congress.