Goa registered a record voter turnout of 83 percent in Saturday’s assembly polls. The coastal state had recorded 81.8 percent polling in last assembly elections. At a media briefing in New Delhi, Deputy Election Commissioner Umesh Sinha said that no case of paid news was reported from the state. He said the polling passed off peacefully.
In the Northern plains, Punjab recorded 70 percent polling till 5 PM. The voter turnout in last assembly polls in 2012 was a little over 78 percent. Deputy Election Commissioner Sandeep Saxena said that 59 cases of paid news were reported. Voting in Punjab was by and large peaceful.
The two states went to polls in a single phase on Saturday. The final figures may go up as reports are yet to come from some polling booths. There were also some reports of EVMs developing technical snags which were replaced.
In Saturday’s assembly elections, Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal’s Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) is making its debut in Goa as well as Punjab. Assembly elections will run through March in the most crucial State of Uttar Pradesh, hilly Northern State of Uttarakhand and the North-Eastern State of Manipur. Taken together, the five State assembly polls are also seen as a referendum on the Modi government’s demonetisation decision as well as its test in the electoral arena before the country goes to general polls in 2019. While BJP rules in Goa and is in power along with Shiromani Akali Dal in Punjab, its traditional rival Congress and the newbie AAP are making strong efforts to grab power in Punjab where 117 assembly seats went to polls. Deputy Election Commissioner Sandeep Saxena said that Rs 58 crore cash, 12.43 lakh litre liquor worth Rs 13.34 crore, 2,598 kg of drugs and narcotics were seized in Punjab.
In Goa, which has 40 assembly seats, the BJP hopes to retain power though it has broken its alliance from Maharashtrawadi Gomantak Party (MGP).”