Sanquelim (Goa) [India], March 10 (ANI): In line with traditions set by his predecessor and former Union Minister Manohar Parrikar, Goa Chief Minister Pramod Sawant on Thursday morning offered prayers at the Shree Datta Mandir in his constituency, Sanquelim.
Strong rooms have just been opened in the presence of candidates and observers at various counting centres in the state.
Postal ballots will be taken to the counting halls through a dedicated corridor of security personnel.
Speaking to ANI today morning, South Goa District Collector Ruchika Katyal said, "The strong rooms have just been opened in the presence of candidates and observers. Postal ballots will be taken to the counting halls through a dedicated corridor of security personnel. Counting for South Goa will be done at Damodar College."
Amid predictions of a hung Assembly, leaders of BJP and Congress in Goa would be keeping a close watch on the popular verdict to assess their chances of forming government in the state.
Sawant expressed confidence that the BJP will be forming the next government in the state. Congress, which is also hopeful of forming the government, has asked its candidates to stay at a resort to prevent any attempt at "poaching". The party's leaders in Goa are learnt to be in touch with state leaders of Trinamool Congress (TMC) and Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) "to prevent the BJP from returning to power" in the state.
The BJP fought the elections on all 40 seats in the state while the Goa Forward Party (GFP) entered into a pre-poll alliance with Congress. The TMC allied with the Maharashtrawadi Gomantak Party for the polls.
The exit polls have predicted a neck-to-neck fight between the BJP and the Congress-led alliance. In the 2017 Assembly polls, Congress had emerged as the single largest party winning 17 seats, but the BJP moved swiftly and formed government after roping in the support of regional parties and independent MLAs.
The BJP contested the state elections without Parrikar, its tallest leader in the state. His son Utpal Parrikar contested from Panaji seat as an independent candidate after the BJP did not give him the ticket. The BJP has fielded Atanasio "Babush" Monserrate from the constituency. (ANI)