Goa voted heavily on Saturday with a record-breaking 83 per cent turnout as the single-phase assembly elections in the state concluded peacefully, the Election Commission said.
Traditional rivals Bharatiya Janata Party and Congress are locked in a keen electoral battle in the state where Arvind Kejriwal’s Aam Aadmi Party has made its maiden foray in the assembly elections, seeking to play a killjoy for the two major contenders for power.
In the 2012 assembly elections, Goa had recorded an impressive 81.8 per cent voting.
Saturday’s vote will decide the fate, among others, of five former chief ministers, besides the incumbent Laxmikant Parsekar.
While Ravi Naik, Digambar Kamat, Pratapsinh Rane and Luizinho Faleiro are in the fray as Congress nominees, Churchill Alemao is contesting on a Nationalist Congress Party ticket.
The electoral fate of AAP's chief ministerial face Elvis Gomes, a former bureaucrat, will also be decided.
Voter-verified paper audit trail machines were used in all the polling stations in Goa and there was 100 per cent webcasting of the voting process, the Election Commission said.
A 78-year-old man died outside a polling booth in Panaji city. Leslie Saldanha, who was waiting to cast his vote, collapsed and died, officials said.
There are 250 aspirants trying their luck for 40 seats of the Goa assembly.
IMAGE: Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar in a queue outside a polling booth to cast his vote in Goa on Saturday. Photograph: PTI Photo