Panaji, Jan 18: As many as 405 candidates from various political parties as well as Independents have filed their nomination papers for the February 4 assembly elections in Goa till the end of the deadline for filing of nominations on Wednesday evening, a senior poll official said.
Additional Chief Electoral Officer N. Navti said as many as 211 forms were received by various returning officers across the state on the last day of filing of nominations. He told media persons here that poll officials will now scrutinise the papers filed by the candidates over the next few days. The last date for withdrawal of candidature is January 21.
"After January 21, we will get a final picture of how many candidates will actually participate in the next step of the election process," he said. Chief Minister Laxmikant Parsekar and four of his Congress predecessors -- Pratapsingh Rane, Luizinho Faleiro, Ravi Naik and Digambar Kamat -- several sitting and former ministers and MLAs are among the candidates.
The Aam Aadmi Party is the only outfit to field candidates in all 40 seats. The ruling Bharatiya Janata Party and the opposition Congress have fielded 36 candidates each. The BJP is expected to back two Independents too. The Congress will back four candidates from the United Goans and Goa Forward parties.
Maharashtrawadi Gomantak Party, a former BJP ally but now in alliance with the Goa Suraksha Manch mentored by former state Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh chief Subhash Velingkar, and the Shiv Sena are also in the fray. While the MGP has fielded candidates on 26 seats, the Manch and the Shiv Sena have fielded four candidates each. The Nationalist Congress Party has fielded candidates on 16 seats.