Polling for Panaji by-election begins today

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Panaji: The polling for the  by-election for Panaji assembly constituency, which was necessitated with demise of former Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar, began at 7 a.m. today.

The constituency with 30 polling stations has 22,482 voters.

Parrikar, who died on March 17 due to pancreatic related ailment, had represented the constituency for nearly two and half decade since 1994.

Total six candidates are in fray including two independents for the by-election, which is going to be a prestige issue for ruling BJP.

BJP, who has been dominating the constituency, has nominated Siddharth Kunkolienkar as their candidate. Kunkolienkar had won twice from the assembly seat when Parrikar was elevated to Central cabinet as Union Defence Minister.

Congress has fielded its former Minister Atanasio Monserratte, who had lost against Kunkolienkar in 2017 State Assembly election by over 1500 votes. Monserratte had contested as Independent.

Former RSS Goa Chief Subhash Velingkar is contesting his first election on Goa Suraksha Manch (GSM) ticket. Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) has fielded Valmiki Naik, who had lost the last assembly election he had contested from Panaji in February 2017.

There are also two Independent candidates-Dilip Ghadi and Vijai More.

The counting is scheduled on May 23.

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