Voting for Goa's two Lok Sabha seats and three Assembly bypolls got underway at 7 am today.
According to Chief Electoral Officer Kunal, a total of 11,35,811 voters, which includes 5,55,768 male voters and 5,80,043 female voters, are eligible to cast their vote at 1,652 polling stations across the coastal state.
"We are targetting 80 per cent voting throughout the state," Mr Kunal said. In the 2014 Lok Sabha election, the polling percentage was 76.82 per cent.
A total of 12 aspirants are in the fray for two Lok Sabha seats, North Goa and South Goa, and 16 candidates are contesting the three Assembly bypolls from Mapusa, Shiroda and Mandrem constituencies.
Among the key contestants for the general elections, four-term BJP MP and Union Minister of State for AYUSH Shripad Naik takes on state Congress president Girish Chodankar for the North Goa seat, while in South Goa sitting BJP MP Narendra Sawaikar is contesting against former Chief Minister and Congress candidate Francisco Sardinha.
In the bypolls, Congress' Joshua D'Souza, son of former deputy Chief Minister late Francis D'Souza whose death necessitated the bypoll at Mapusa assembly seat, is contesting against Congress' Sudhir Kandolkar.
In Mandrem, BJP's Dayanand Sopte is facing a challenge from Congress' Babi Bagkar and independent candidate Jeet Arolkar, while in the Shiroda Assembly bypoll, BJP's Subhash Shirodkar, Maharashtrawadi Gomantak Party's Deepak Dhavalikar and Congress' Mahadev Naik are engaged in a tri-corner contest.