Panaji: Counting of votes for Goa's two assembly constituencies, Panaji and Valpoi, began at 8 a.m. on Monday. In the Panaji by-election, four-time Chief Minister and five-time Panaji MLA Manohar Parrikar takes on Girish Chodankar of the Congress and Anand Shirodkar of the Goa Suraksha Manch. In the Valpoi by-poll, the contest is between Health Minister Vishwajit Rane and Roy Naik of the Congress.
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 this year, 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.