Forty-eight of the 50 Zilla Panchayat constituencies in Goa went to polls on Saturday with 203 candidates in the fray for what is expected to be a barometer of the public mood ahead of the state elections in 2022.
Polling began at 8 and ended at 5 pm. Till 10 pm, the state recorded 56.82 per cent voting, PTI reported, quoting State Election Commission figures
Sadanand Shet Tanavade, the BJP state president, said he was “confident” of a good show. Leader of Opposition Digambar Kamat said the protests against infrastructure projects would work in Congress’s favour. Chief Minister Pramod Sawant was the first to vote, at Kothambi village.
This was also the first major polling exercise in the state since the lockdown, with 7.91 lakh people eligible to cast their ballot. Over 1,000 Covid-19 patients also voted during the last hour. The state Health Department provided PPE kits for them and ensured precautions at booths.
Outgoing Zilla Panchayat candidates have often expressed disaffection with lack of executive powers. They say their role is limited to overseeing development work in their electorate, provided the Zilla Panchayat body releases funds on time.
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