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The election for lone Rajya Sabha seat from Goa would be held tomorrow, with the state unit chiefs of ruling BJP and opposition Congress pitted against each other. There would be a straight fight as Goa BJP president Vinay Tendulkar and state Congress chief Shantaram Naik are the only two candidates who have filed nominations. Naik, a sitting Rajya Sabha member, is seeking a third consecutive term.
The BJP has 12 legislators in the 40-member state Assembly. Its allies comprise Goa Forward Party and Maharashtrawadi Gomantak Party who have three legislators each, and three independents, taking its tally to 21. Two MLAs – Siddharth Kuncolienkar and Vishwajit Rane -have resigned.
Tendulkar expressed confidence about his victory. “The numbers are with us,” he said. NCP MLA Churchill Alemao has kept his cards close to his chest. He would not like to disclose whom he was supporting, he told reporters.
Alemao had attended a meeting of state legislators addressed by NDA’s presidential candidate Ram Nath Kovind during his campaign. The Congress has 16 MLAs in the state. Speaking to reporters, Naik said he was hopeful of winning tomorrow.