Goa Health Minister and BJPs candidate from Valpoi constituency Vishwajeet Rane being greeted by supporters, during counting day of Goa elections, at a counting centre in Panaji, Thursday, March 10, 2022. (PTI)
Panaji: Bharatiya Janata Party is inching closer to attaining halfway mark in Goa with the party maintaining leads on 19 Assembly seats, according to the Election Commission of India data on the poll trends.
Congress is leading on 11 seats followed by Maharashtrawadi Gomantak with three seats and independent candidates taking lead on three seats. Aam Aadmi Party is also leading on two seats.
Sources told ANI that the BJP leaders will call on Governor today itself to stake claim for the government formation.
Chief Minister and BJP Candidate Pramod Sawant are leading with a margin of 350 votes from the Sanquelim Assembly seat, according to the data of the ECI.
The BJP candidate Atanasio 'Babush' Monserrate secured the prestigious Panaji seat by defeating former Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar's son and independent candidate Utpal Parrikar by a margin of 700 votes.
Speaking to reporters today, Utpal Parrikar said, "As an Independent candidate it was a good fight, I thank the people. I am satisfied with the fight but the result is a little disappointing."
Goa Forward Party president Vijai Sardesai has won from the Fatorda constituency by 1,300 votes.
Amid predictions of a hung Assembly by the pollsters, leaders of the BJP and Congress in Goa would be keeping a close watch on the popular verdict to assess their chances of forming government in the state.
Congress, which is also hopeful of forming the government, has asked its candidates to stay at a resort to prevent any attempt at "poaching". The party's leaders in Goa are learnt to be in touch with state leaders of Trinamool Congress (TMC) and Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) "to prevent the BJP from returning to power" in the state.
The BJP fought the elections on all 40 seats in the state while the Goa Forward Party (GFP) entered into a pre-poll alliance with Congress. The TMC allied with the Maharashtrawadi Gomantak Party for the polls.