New Delhi, Feb 4: As Punjab and Goa go to polls on Saturday, the Aam Aadmi Party and the Congress will look to play spoilsport for the Bharatiya Janata Party in these two states. The BJP- Shiromani Akali Dal combine is hoping to retain power in Punjab after two consecutive terms. In Goa too, the BJP will look to hold on to its government after its former ally the Maharashtrawadi Gomantak Party left the alliance.
In Punjab, 1.98 crore voters will chose their leaders from 1,145 candidates, contesting the polls to the 117-member assembly. In Goa there are 250 candidates, who will seek the votes of 11 lakh voters, in the 40-member house.
Punjab is likely to see a closely contested battle. Incumbent Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal is seeking a sixth term in the office, while his rival Captain Amarinder Singh of the Congress, who had earlier said that this was his last election, will be looking to get his party to power in the state.
The other bigwig contesting the Punjab elections is Navjot Singh Sidhu. He is contesting from the Amritsar East constituency. Bhagwat Mann, the AAP leader, who is a possible chief ministerial candidate, is contesting the polls against Badal's son Sukhbir, from the Jalalabad constituency.
For the Congress, winning the elections in Punjab is crucial. Experts say the party has a good chance to win the state polls. The Congress is contesting Punjab elections alone in all the 117 seats. The AAP has fielded candidates in 112 constituencies, while the BJP-SAD combine will be contesting in 24 and 94 seats respectively.
In Goa, the BJP is contesting 36 seats and supporting four independents, while the Congress has fielded its candidates in 38 seats and is supporting two others, including an independent.