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Goa all set for LS polls tomorrow; 19 candidates in fray

Friday, 11 April 2014 - 12:44pm IST | Agency: PTI

Panaji: The voting for the two parliamentary seats in Goa would be held tomorrow, wherein more than ten lakh voters will exercise their franchise in both the constituencies.

There are 10,60,777 voters in the state, of which 5,28,308 are men and 5,32,469 are women, according to the Election Commission of India. The polling would be held from 7 AM to 6 PM.

Total 19 candidates are in fray for the North and South Goa constituencies, including those of Congress, BJP, CPI and other regional parties and independents.

Prominent candidates from North Goa include Ravi Naik (Cong), BJP's sitting MP Shripad Naik and AAP's Dattaram Desai. From the South Goa seat, Congress' Aleixo

Reginaldo Lourenco, BJP's Narendra Sawaikar and AAP's Swati Kerkar are among the prominent contenders. South Goa's sitting MP Francisco Sardinha (Cong) has not been given a ticket this time.

Election officials have roped in 8,925 polling staff, who will be deputed at the respective polling booths tonight, a senior official said.

The Electronic Voting Machines (EVMs) have been thoroughly checked and assigned to each booth, he added. The state has 1,151 polling stations while 1,622 EVMs are kept ready for the polling. The election officials have identified 14 vulnerable and 30 critical polling stations, which will be given additional security cover.

While the EC has launched special awareness campaign to increase the voting percentage, attempts are also being made to give special preference to the female voters.

During these polls, after every one male voter, two female voters would be allowed to exercise their franchisee, an official said.

This has been done for the first time keeping in mind that the females need to come out in large number to increase the voting percentage in the state, he said.

"The past election records have indicated that the women were turning out to the poll booths in less number compared to the men," he said. Similarly, disabled and blind voters will also be given special preference during the voting.

There are 30 blind voters in the state, whose training on the use of EVMs is currently underway in the Election Commission's office here.




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