Even as the counting of votes for the Goa panchayat elections is underway on Friday, the results declared till afternoon indicated a mixed bag, with the candidates supported by the Bharatiya Janata Party, opposition Congress and the Revolutionary Goans Party winning some local bodies.
The counting of votes for elections to 186 panchayat bodies in the state, held on Wednesday, began at 8 am on Friday. The elections, held through ballot papers, were not fought on party symbols. A total of 5,038 candidates were in the fray in 1,464 wards.
Several BJP leaders, including Speaker of Goa Legislative Assembly Ramesh Tawadkar, claimed that their party won the panchayat bodies in their respective constituencies.
"We have won three out of nine panchayat bodies. We will win in all the nine panchayats," Mr Tawadkar told PTI.
He said that winning panchayat elections is crucial for BJP as coordination between the panchayats and local legislators is necessary for the development of the region.
However, BJP's Goa spokesman Urfan Mulla, who contested from Rumdamol panchayat in South Goa, lost the election.
The counting of votes is undergoing at 21 different centres across 12 talukas of the state.
Congress-backed candidates won the panchayat bodies in the Quepem and Cuncolim constituencies in South Goa represented by party MLAs Altone D'Costa and Yuri Alemao respectively.
Mr D'Costa said people have voted for good governance at the grassroot level. "The panchayat bodies will be contributing in a big way for the development of the state," he said.
Talking to reporters, Revolutionary Goans Party (RGP) MLA Viresh Borkar said his party has defeated the panel fielded by former BJP MLA Francis Silveira in St Andre Assembly segment.
The RGP participated in the grassroot level democracy and would continue to do so after winning the election, he said.
Goekarncho Ekvot, a NGO which has been working for environmental causes, managed to win Velsao village panchayat in South Goa. Out of seven panch members, this group managed to win five seats.
As much as 78.70 per cent voter turnout was recorded for the panchayats elections with a total of 6,26,496 voters casting their votes.
A total of 64 candidates have been elected unopposed from different village panchayats, of which 41 are from North Goa and 23 from South Goa. North Goa district has 97 panchayats, with 2,667 candidates in the fray, while 2,371 others contested polls for 89 panchayats in South Goa. As per the official data, there are 3,85,867 voters in North Goa, and 4,11,153 in South Goa.
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