Sanquelim (Goa) [India], February 14 (ANI): Goa Chief Minister Pramod Sawant who is contesting State Assembly elections from the Sanquelim constituency on Monday cast his vote Kothambi seat after offering prayers at Shree Rudreshwar Devasthan in Harvalem with his wife.
Sawant expressed confidence that Bharatiya Janata Party will again form the government in Goa with the majority.
"I have cast my vote. I appeal to the public to come out in huge numbers to vote. BJP government's work is in front of everyone. Utpal Parrikar (independent) and Michael Lobo (Congress) won't win as BJP is coming with a majority," the chief minister told media persons.
He also informed earlier today that Prime Minister Narendra Modi called him to give his best wishes.
"Prime Minister Narendra Modi called me in the morning today to give his best wishes. I am fully confident that BJP will win 22+ seats. The infrastructure development by BJP in 10 years and Prime minister's self-reliant vision will definitely benefit us with a 100 per cent majority," the chief minister added.
Meanwhile, Goa Health Minister Vishwajit Rane cast his vote in GPS Vithalapur Karapur Primary School in the Maem Assembly constituency earlier today.
Congress Candidate from Calangute, Michael Lobo also asserted that people are not voting for any constituency, but for Goa today.
"People voting not for constituency but for Goa. When we talk about Goa, we talk about boys and girls who are unemployed, about mining being closed for the last 10 years, about problems in the tourism industry. People are going to vote for the future," Lobo told ANI.
Utpal Parrikar, son of former Goa Chief Minister late Manohar Parrikar on Monday visited polling booths in Panaji. He is contesting as an independent candidate in the constituency.
"I hope I will get a good response. And wherever elections are happening, I urge people to participate in polls...voting is our chance, make the change," Utpal told ANI.
Notably, this is the first electoral fray for the BJP without Parrikar. However, Utpal Parrikar, his son, is seeking to carry the legacy of his father in the Panaji Assembly constituency as an Independent candidate.
After the BJP refused to give him the ticket Manohar Parrikar represented the Panaji Assembly seat. He had resigned from the BJP after Utpal Parrikar was denied a ticket from the Panaji Assembly constituency.
The Panaji Assembly seat has its own importance in the electoral politics of the state. Former Union Minister for Defence Manohar Parrikar, who had represented Panaji, had been a three-term Chief Minister of the state.
The polling for 40 assembly seats in Goa began at 7 am and will end at 6 pm today.
A total of 301 candidates from different political parties are in the electoral fray in Goa.
The incumbent Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) is challenged by Congress, Trinamool Congress, and Aam Admi Party (AAP) in a multi-cornered electoral contest in Goa.
Chief Minister Pramod Sawant is contesting from the Sanquelim constituency against Congress' Dharamesh Saglani while the BJP candidate from Margao seat, Manohar Ajgaonkar has been pitched against Congress nominee Digambar Vasant Kamat.
Goa Assembly has a strength of 40 members out of which the BJP currently has 17 legislators and enjoys the support of legislators from Maharashtrawadi Gomantak Party (MGP), Vijay Sardesai of the Goa Forward Party (GFP), and three independents. The GFP and MGP each have three MLAs, and Congress, on the other hand, has 15 MLAs in the house.
The counting of votes in Goa will take place on March 10. (ANI)