Panaji: The BJP is leading in Goa's two assembly constituencies, Panaji and Valpoi, at the end of the first round of vote counting, election officials said. According to the Chief Electoral Officer, Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar is leading the leading the Panaji assembly seat with 4,290 votes, while his rival, Girish Chodankar of the Congress has garnered 2,252 votes. In Valpoi, Bharatiya Janata Party candidate Vishwajit Rane is leading from his Congress rival Ravi Naik by 2,242 votes.
Poll officials said that counting was likely to be completed by 10 a.m. followed by the announcement of the winners. Nearly 75 per cent voting was recorded during the August 23 by-polls in Goa, with 22,196 and 28,868 votes cast in Panaji and in Valpoi assembly constituencies respectively. The by-poll in Panaji was necessitated after Parrikar's return to state politics in March as Chief Minister. Sitting BJP MLA Sidarth Kuncolienkar resigned from the Panaji seat, enabling Parrikar to contest for the state capital constituency. In Valpoi, the by-polls were held following the resignation of Rane as a Congress MLA. He subsequently joined the BJP and the cabinet as Health Minister.