40 pc voting in Goa till afternoon amid rains
Panaji, June 2 (UNI) An estimated 40 per cent of the total 10.10 voters in Goa today cast their ballots this afternoon amid heavy rainfall and tight security for the election to the 40-member Legislative Assembly.
Voting, which began at 0800 hrs was brisk despite heavy rains since morning and picked up in the afternoon with a let up in the rains.
Goa police, para military forces and election observers kept a tight vigil especially in sensitive constituencies.
Women and youth were seen in large numbers at many polling stations even before the polling commenced.
The polling ends at 1700 hrs today and counting of voters begins on June 5.
In North Goa, security was tight in constituencies like Aldona, Santa Cruz and Taleigao.
Movement of vehicles around the polling booths in these areas was restricted.
In Panaji, BJP leader and former Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar was among the first to cast their vote while his lone challenger Dinar Tarcar of Congress first sought blessings of Goddess Mahalaxmi and then cast the vote.
BJP candidate Laxmikant Parsekar, seeking re-election from Mandrem against former union minister Ramakant Khalap, who was trying his luck for the second time, told journalists that he was satisfied with the voter turnout despite heavy rains.
''Lotus will bloom in the rain water,'' he claimed.
Election officials in North Goa polling booths like Mapusa, Siolim, Pernem, Morjim, Mandrem, Dhargarlim and Aldona told journalists that the order of the Election Commission that voters who have been issued EPIC cards will have to compulsory produce them before casting their votes, was being adhered to strictly.
Almost all voters, barring a handful, were turned away for failing to bring along the voter identity card along with them, officials said.
Senior citizens especially women did not face any problem while going to the booth to cast their votes.