Counting of votes in Goa from 8 a.m. on Saturday

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Panaji, March 10 (IANS) Will the Congress come back from near-oblivion? Will the AAP spring a surprise? will the MGP-Shiv Sena-Subhash Velingkar potpourri rustle up good numbers? Or will the BJP retain power in Goa?

Answers to all the above questions and more will be revealed when counting of votes polled in the February 4 elections is taken up on Saturday morning.

North Goa Collector Nila Mohanan said the process will begin at 8 a.m. with the counting of postal ballots, before votes stored in more than 2,500 electronic voting machines are taken up around 8:30 a.m.

“We will open the strong room where the EVMs are kept at 7 a.m.,” Mohanan said on Friday.

Poll officials said counting is expected to conclude by early afternoon and the results declared before 2 p.m.

For the 40 assembly seats, the Bharatiya Janata Party has fielded candidates in 36, AAP in 39, Congress 37, Maharashtrawadi Gomantak Party 25 and the NCP in 37 seats.

A majority of exit polls projections released on Friday said the ruling BJP will emerge the winner or as single-largest party in the state assembly. The Congress, according to its state President Luizinho Faleiro, will emerge victorious.

The Aam Aadmi Party, contesting the Goa polls for the first time, also ran a high-blitz campaign and projected former bureaucrat Elvis Gomes as its chief ministerial candidate.

Another poll alliance that made the election fray interesting is the tie-up of the Gomantak Party-Shiv Sena and Goa Suraksha Manch, the latter floated by former state Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh chief Subhash Velingkar.

The combine has already announced its chief ministerial candidate in former Public Works Department Minister Sudin Dhavalikar.

–IANS

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