PANAJI: Goa has recorded a tentative voter turnout of approximately 75 per cent in the panchayat elections held today. The figures were recorded as per the calculations till 4 pm.
Polling in Goa by a large peaceful and no untoward incident was reported anywhere.
Apart from Calangute, where there was a printing error of ballots, no issues were reported anywhere.
The polling was held at 1,566 booths located at 1,049 locations from 8 am to 5 pm; the final hour, which was 4 pm to 5 pm, was dedicated to Covid-19 patients.
Even though voting was on ballots, there was not much tush due to a high number of polling booths.
The rain did play spoilsport in some places, but that did not deter the voters.
The percentage of voting was more in North Goa compared to South.
Sattari in North Goa had clocked highest percentage of 84.15 till 4 pm, followed by Bicholim (82.44), Dharbandora (81.46) and Sanguem (80.84).
Though the elections are not fought on party lines, several MLAs, both from the ruling and opposition sides, have fielded their panels in their respective constituencies and were seen canvassing aggressively.
The local body elections are also a prestige issue for the ruling MLAs from the constituencies to retain their popularity among the voters following their victory in the Assembly elections held in February this year.
The voting was held through ballot papers, and the indelible ink mark was put on the left forefinger of every voter. The voters will have to produce an ID document at the polling station to cast their vote.
A total of 64 candidates have been elected unopposed from different village panchayats, of which 41 were from North Goa and 23 from South Goa, the senior official said.
North Goa district has 97 panchayats, with 2,667 candidates in the fray, while 2,371 will contest polls for 89 panchayats in South Goa, he said.
A total of 8,27,099 voters were eligible to cast their votes, including 4,01,725 male voters and 4,25,372 female voters, along with two belonging to the third gender.
Nine hundred fifty-five candidates contested in Bardez, the most among all the 12 talukas. Salcete had 863, Ponda had 601 and Tiswadi 583.The panchayats in Pernem had 450 candidates, while 380 contested for a seat in the panchayats of Bicholim. Sattari had 259, Quepem 240, Mormugao 219, Canacona 169, Sanguem 156 and 123 in Dharbandora.
The State Election Commission (SEC) had reserved 21 seats (1.37 per cent) for Schedule Castes, 187 seats (12.32 per cent) for Schedule Tribes and 307 (20.10 per cent) for Other Backward Classes.
Along with adequate police force, more than 10,000 polling staff had been deployed for the smooth conduct of the elections. Around 30 out of 1,566 polling booths had been identified as vulnerable and sensitive.
As per information from SEC, 10,700 polling officers will be manning the voting process under tight police security. The counting of votes will take place on August 12.
SEC had modified the notification to include OBC ward reservations in 186 panchayats. The Commission had already notified SC/ST and Women Reservations before. The OBC reservations are in compliance with Supreme Court mandated Triple test guidelines, as per SEC.