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Only 48 pc exercise franchise at ZP by-polls


Story: The | Goan | 21st August 2017, 03:03 Hrs
MARGAO/MAPUSA: Voters failed to turn up at the Zilla Panchayat by-elections to four constituencies which were held on Sunday with the state witnessing a meager turnout of 47.99% across the four ZP constituencies of Calangute, Corlim, Nuvem and Curtorim.
The lone election to elect a panch for Ward No 3 of Morlem panchayat in Sattari however saw a turnout of 91.67%.
No untoward incidents were witnessed at the by-polls. The Corlim ZP constituency witnessed a turnout of 40.33% the lowest among the four. The counting will be held on August 28 with results expected to be declared the same day.
Low turn-out of voters marked the by-election to the two Zilla Panchayats of Nuvem and Curtorim in Salcete on Sunday, even as the polls passed off peacefully without any untoward incident.
In fact, the voting percentage barely crossed the 50 per cent mark, with Curtorim touching 53.07 per cent and Nuvem 51.15 per cent.
Returning officer Uday Prabhudesai told The Goan that the by-election for the two seats passed off peacefully without any incident. He said the ballot boxes have been stored in the strongman of the South Goa district Collectorate and will be manned by armed policemen till the date of counting on August 28.
When his attention was drawn to reports that many voters were not allowed to cast their vote despite their photos appearing on the electoral roll, the Returning officer maintained the procured require the voters to produce any of the listed documents as an identity proof. "Many voters who did not come with ID documents later came back and cast their vote," he said.
Curtorim MLA Reginaldo Lourneco, who was spotted moving on a scooter on the polling day, had told the media around noon that polling is very slow and will just cross the 50 per cent mark in Curtorim. He, however, hastened to add that the Congress candidate will win the election despite a low voter turn out.
Meanwhile, Calangute recorded a moderate voters' turnout in the Zilla Panchayat by-election on Sunday, as 48.76% voters turned out to exercise their franchise.
Of the 21,068 electorate, 10,273 cast their votes, of which 5,135 were males and 5,138 female voters. Among the voters who cast their votes were former Calangute MLA Agnel Fernandes and former Calangute sarpanch Joseph Sequeira.
The polling began at 8 am, but the turnout was low till 4 pm. Polling officers were seen sitting idle at many centres. Besides, hardly any long queues were noticed through the day.
The voting picked up pace late in the last one hour with both party candidates doing their best to bring their supporters out to vote.
Calangute Zilla comprised villages of Calangute, Candolim and Arpora-Nagao. There were 29 polling centres.
BJP candidate, Dattaprasad Dabholkar expressed satisfaction with the voting trend but expected the turnout to be better.
"In a democracy, it's expected people to come out and vote in large numbers to exercise their democratic right," Dabholkar said.
According to Congress candidate, Joy Fernandes, the moderate turnout was expected. He said although his polling agents were threatened by the opposition, he expected good results.

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