The BJP fielded 36 candidates and supported independents in the remaining four seats. The party's campaign was led by Union Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar. BJP president Amit Shah had, during the campaign, stated that if the BJP retains power in the state, the new government would work under the guidance and leadership of Mr Parrikar. This fueled speculation of the Union minister's return to state politics.
Mr Parrikar led the BJP to a comfortable victory in 2012 and he was elevated to PM Modi's cabinet in 2014. He was succeeded by Laxmikant Parsekar, who stated that the party leader will be chosen by the elected legislators.
The principal opposition, Congress, is contesting 37 assembly constituencies and backed candidtates of its associates United Goan, Goa Forward and an independent in the remaining seats. Congress seeks to regain power in the coastal state after five years. The party contested the election under the leadership of senior leaders Digvijaya Singh, Jyotiraditya Scindia and former Chief Minister Digambar Kamat.
The Aam Aadmi Party is making a debut in the state and it has chosen former Inspector General of Prisons Elvis Gomes as its chief ministerial candidate. Party convenor and Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal was sent a notice by the Election Commission for reportedly violating the poll code after he appealed voters to take money from other parties but vote for the AAP at a rally. The AAP is contested 39 seats in the state.
Other than these three, an alliance of the MGP (which broke alliance with the BJP), GSM and the Shiv Sena also contested the polls.
(with inputs from Agencies)