Panaji: The counting of votes for six municipal councils, Corporation of City of Panaji and panchayat by-polls has commenced, with the ruling BJP hoping for yet another stellar performance in the local body elections, where BJP claimed to have swept the elections to the six municipal councils and one municipal corporation poll.
While the voting for polls was held on March 20, the elections were not contested on party lines and key political parties, namely the BJP, Congress and the Aam Aadmi Party had sponsored individual candidates or panels of candidates contesting the polls.
Nearly 83 percent voter turnout was recorded in the Gia local body polls which were held on March 20. The six municipal councils that went to polls are Canacona, Curchorem-Cacora, Bicholim, Cuncolim, Valpoi and Pernem.
Byelections to 18 different wards of village panchayat and the Navelim zilla panchayat constituency was also held. While the CCP recorded the lowest voter turnout at 70.19 per cent, The Pernem municipal council recorded the highest polling at 91.02 percent.
Chief Minister Pramod Sawant maintained that the BJP sponsored candidates had won the Bicholim, Valpoi, Pernem, Canacona Curchorem municipalities and trounced the opposition in the polls to the Corporation of the City of Panaji. In the lone bypoll to the Sanquelim Municipal Council, which is a part of Sawant's Legislative Assembly seat, the BJP-sponsored candidate lost to his rival supported by the Congress party.
"I congratulate all those candidates who have won the municipal polls. In all municipalities, BJP sponsored candidates have performed well. We have scored a big victory in the Panaji Corporation polls. Bicholim, Valpoi, Pernem, Canacona and Curchorem we have won. There is a close result in Cuncolim, but we will ensure that the BJP will emerge front runner," Sawant said.