Counting begins for Goa polls

Panaji, Mar 11: The counting of votes for all 40 constituencies of the Goa Assembly began at 8 AM today at two centres in Panaji and Margao. 

The focus is on whether the BJP will be able to retain power and if it gets a fresh mandate, will Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar return to his home state as chief minister. 

The fate of Chief Minister Laxmikant Parsekar, whose Mandrem constituency will be taken up for counting during the first round, will be decided within the first hour of the counting.

The postal ballots and votes polled by service voters will be taken up first before calculating the numbers on Electronic Voting Machines (EVMs).

Tight security arrangements have been made with over 1,000 policemen deployed.

Election officials said the counting will be completed by 2.30 PM.

The votes for 19 constituencies will be counted at Panaji in North Goa, while the tally for the remaining 21 will be carried out in Margao in South Goa.