Panaji News

Panaji to host Shigmo parade on March 26, Margao March 20
Times of India | 3 months ago
Times of India
3 months ago

Panaji: Shigmo parades will be held in five towns kick-starting with Ponda on March 19 followed by Margao on March 20, Vasco on March 22, Panaji on March 26, and concluding with Mapusa on March 27. All covid protocol will be followed. The parades will commence at 4pm and end at 10pm. Dates for the annual cultural festival were finalised at a meeting held on Friday by secretary tourism J Ashok Kumar. Constitution of Shigmo committees for the respective centres, parade route, and prizes for the parades were also discussed during the meeting. Last year, the state-sponsored Shigmo parades were cancelled after covid cases started rising. The tourism department provides financial aid to city councils as infrastructure money for the parades. Each council will get Rs 6 lakh as prize money and 11 lakh each to raise infrastructure. The CCP will get Rs 21 lakh for refurbishing and decoration for Shigmo. The meeting was attended by director of tourism Menino D`Souza, chief officers of municipal councils and officers of other departments involved with the organisation of the festival.

Panaji to host Shigmo parade on March 26, Margao March 20
  • Goa: Shigmo float parades in 5 towns, kick-start with Ponda on March 19
  • Times of India

    PANAJI: Shigmo parades will be held in five towns kick-starting with Ponda on March 19 by following covid protocol. A float parade will be held on March 20 at Margao and on March 22 at Vasco, in Panaji it will be on March 26, concluding with Mapusa on March 27. A meeting was held on Friday by secretary tourism J Ashok Kumar and dates for the annual cultural festival were finalised. The last year state sponsored Shigmo parades were cancelled after the covid cases had started rising. Tourism department provides financial aid to city councils as infrastructure money for Shigmo parades. Each council will get Rs 6 lakh as prize money and 11 lakh each to raise infrastructure, that’s largely involves decorations. The Corporation of the City of Panaji (CCP) will get Rs 21 lakh for refurbishing and decoration for Shigmo. The parades will commence at 4.00 p.m. and end at 10.00 p.m. Constitution of Shigmo committees for respective centres, routes to be followed by parade, and prizes for floats were discussed during the meeting. The meeting was attended by director of tourism Menino D`Souza, chief officers of municipal councils and officers of other departments involved with the organisation of the festival.

Miramar to play host to farmers market tomorrow
Navhind Times | 3 months ago
Navhind Times
3 months ago

Ramandeep KaurPanajiComePostVille is a community initiative where fellow citizens exchange ideas, knowledge, and experiences in sustainability to empower and encourage each other and become a better part of the community. They use various gamification techniques and organise Huddles (community get-togethers) to accelerate their movements and initiatives.Under ComePostVille they have successfully organised Season 1 which was a competition between five major cities in Goa.“This was played as a competitive and collaborative game where citizens encouraged each other to start composting to ensure their city gets the maximum number of citizen composters. Through this game we crossed 1000 citizens in Goa,” says founder of ComePostVille Abhinav Apte, adding that, “In Season 2 they are in the process to take this game to 25 locations in Goa and reach 5,000 composters by 2022.”“Once we achieve this, we as a community will be treating 1% of the wet waste generated in Goa locally without any dependence on the government and with zero processing, transportation, and disposal costs.”He further says that when members become part of the ComePostVille community they lead a more sustainable lifestyle by starting with composting, growing their own food, etc. They also learn from each other; take initiatives in the community like clean-up drives, exchanging seeds and saplings, etc; and act as a support system for others.And now, ComePostVille in association with Carasid is organising a Huddle and Farmer’s Market, this Sunday, February 20, 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. at Multi-sports Playground, Miramar. In addition to the Farmer’s Market where citizens can directly buy fresh, local produce from the farmers, activities like demonstrations on how to plant trees, do-it-yourself coco sticks demo, bio-enzymes demo, and home composting demo, a seeds and saplings exchange, quiz, music, art, and a talk on menstrual hygiene and sustainable options will be held. There will also be planting of 18 saplings of fruiting and other trees that have been sourced from the Goa State Biodiversity Board. The whole initiative is an outreach programme by the Corporation of the City of Panaji (CCP) to collaborate with citizens to create, maintain and fruitfully utilise derelict/under-utilised park spaces.And while ComePostVille has been organising similar Huddles where they have been teaching composting, having seeds and sapling exchanges, going on biodiversity trails, organising clean-up drives, etc, this one is the first one with a larger vision of reviving community spaces and parks in Panaji.

Miramar to play host to farmers market tomorrow
Panaji police station attack case: Hearing now on Feb 28
Times of India | 3 months ago
Times of India
3 months ago

Panaji: The 2008 Panaji police station attack case, which came up for hearing on Thursday in a Mapusa court, has been adjourned to February 28. Panaji MLA Atanasio ‘Babush’ Monserrate, his wife revenue minister Jennifer, former mayors of the Corporation of the City of Panaji (CCP), Tony Rodrigues and Uday Madkaikar, are among the accused. The high court, in December, had directed the special court of the Central Bureau of Investigation to expedite the trial and had dismissed the applications of 29 of the 37 accused, including Rodrigues and Madkaikar, seeking discharge from the case. Monserrate was among the few who didn’t file the application in the high court seeking the discharge. A morcha led by Monserrate, then MLA of Taleigao, in February 2008 demanding the immediate release of a resident and known supporter, who had allegedly been beaten up and falsely implicated by the police, had turned violent. Monserrate, along with his supporters, had demanded the immediate transfer of the investigating officer. When the mob began clashing with the police and pelting stones, the main door of the police station had to be shut. The police consequently mounted a lathicharge and released tear gas. Several policemen and some protesters were injured. In retaliation, Monserrate’s house was damaged later in the evening. Monserrate, his wife, and the then Panaji mayor were initially detained and later arrested.

Panaji police station attack case: Hearing now on Feb 28
  • Police station attack case: hearing adjourned to Feb 28
  • Navhind Times

    Staff ReporterMapusaThe Additional District and Sessions court, Mapusa, which is designated as a court for trial of criminal cases against politicians, has adjourned the hearingin connection with the 2008 police station attack case and has fixed the next hearing on February 28. The court also issued a non-bailable warrant against one of the alleged accused in the case.On Thursday, the hearing was held before the JudgeSherinPaulwherein Tony Rodrigues, Uday Madkaikar, Carolina Po andotherswere present. Eight persons had filed an exemption applicationincluding Atanasio ‘Babush’ Monserrate, Jennifer Monserrate and others, which was granted by the court. The Judge has also issued a non-bailable warrant toKrishna Shirodkar.Advocate L.Raghunandan, who is appearing in the case for Jennifer Monserrate and others, said that the matter was for appearance wherein an application was moved for exemption of the eight persons and the exemption was granted by the court.In connection with the police station attack case, the police had booked Atanasio Monserrate, Jennifer, former mayor Tony Rodrigues, Uday Madkaikar, Carolina Po and others under sections 143, 147, 148, 149, 153, 324, 325, 326, 332, 333, 427 and 435 of the Indian Penal Code and filed a charge-sheet beforethe court.

  • Panaji police station attack case hits a roadblock
  • Navhind Times

    Staff ReporterPanajiThe trial in Panaji police station attack case has hit a roadblock as the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI)’s public prosecutor in the matter has been transferred. The public prosecutor has been relieved without his replacement being in place, informed Advocate AiresRodrigues.He also alleged that the public prosecutor has been relieved to derail the criminal trial ofthe case in which Babush Monserrate and Jennifer Monserrate are the main accused.Rodrigues has stated that he would move the High Court this week seeking specific directions to the CBI to immediately appoint a new public prosecutor to ensure that the trial of this case is completed in a time bound manner.The trial is being conducted by the Mapusa Additional Sessions Judge Sherin Paul with the next hearing scheduled on February 17. The chargesheet was filed in 2014 bythe CBI.

I am humbled by support received from Ponjekars: Utpal
Navhind Times | 3 months ago
Navhind Times
3 months ago

Staff ReporterPanajiThe independent candidate from Panaji and the son of former chief minister Manohar Parrikar, on Thursday, said that now he can feel a sense of why his father felt such an immense sense of love, attachment and pride about the (Panaji) constituency and its residents.Late Manohar Parrikar was elected as the MLA of Panaji constituency on six occasions since 1994, when he won it for the first time defeating a Congress candidate.in his post-poll message to Ponjekars – the residents of Panaji – said that “Today, after receiving such tremendous support from across Panaji for the Goa assembly elections 2022, I am greatly humbled by the experience.”The post-poll message released on various social media platforms further stated, “I thank each and every Ponjekar who voted for me and blessed me with their unflinching support.”“I also take this opportunity to thank all my supporters and the volunteers who worked tirelessly throughout the campaign often using their own resources and for not bowing down to pressure from various vested interests,” it added.The message further said, “To my detractors and critics, I say thank you for having spurred me to put in even more effort to be the best version of myself and for strengthening my resolve to pick up the baton from where my late father left it, to ensure that his vision and dream for Panaji isrealised.”Utpal has contested the recently conducted state assembly polls as an independent candidate from Panaji, after the Bharatiya Janata Party refused him the candidature. He was pitted against the sitting MLA Atanasio ‘Babush’ Monserrate.

I am humbled by support received from Ponjekars: Utpal
KTC to paint zebra crossing at Panaji bus terminus
Times of India | 3 months ago
Times of India
3 months ago

PANAJI: Following complaints from citizens about the risk to pedestrians at the Kadamba bus terminus in Panaji, Kadamba Transport Corporation (KTC) decided to initiate action in the matter. The absence of a zebra crossing at the bay where passengers alight has put the lives of citizens at risk. On January 27, the Goa Consumer Action Network (Goacan) moved a proposal for repainting the zebra crossing during the state road safety council meeting chaired by transport secretary Tariq Thomas. “By February 25, we will have the zebra crossing repainted at the alighting bay of the bus terminus,” KTC general manager, Sanjay Ghate said. After an accident at the terminus in February 2018, KTC had hand-painted a narrow zebra crossing in February 2020. “The paint did not last long as it was not done with thermoplastic paint, which is the normal procedure. Also, since the marking was narrow, buses continued stopping on it and some were even parked over it,” road safety activist Roland Martins said. Citizens have also demanded the immediate removal of a tea stall that they say has been erected illegally. The Corporation of the City of Panaji (CCP) has issued a show cause notice to the tea stall owner and revoked the trade licence granted to it. Sources said that CCP is now contemplating issuing an order to demolish it. KTC officials, however, said they are yet to receive orders to stop activities of the tea stall. “Until we get the letter, we cannot initiate any action against the tea stall,” Ghate said.

KTC to paint zebra crossing at Panaji bus terminus
  • Faded zebra crossing a threat to pedestrians’ lives at city bus stand
  • Navhind Times

    Panaji: The KTC bus terminus in Panaji is evidently not a very pedestrian-friendly terminus, with those on foot not having proper right of way.Moreover, the zebra crossing lines have faded at the pedestrian crossing lane, endangering pedestrians but authorities are least bothered to undertake repainting despite a major accident that had occurred exactly four years ago wherein a city bus coming from wrong direction crushed passengers at the terminus.When contacted officials in the Kadamba Transport Corporation, they informed that the zebra crossing would be repainted by February 25. However, the reason for the delay was not explained.With more than a lakh people using the bus services each day, it is the need of the hour that adequate facilities are provided to pedestrians at the terminus.Moreover, the only ramp which was available for the exclusive use of persons with disabilities is being made available for all passengers so that a tea stall could be accommodated in that prime space of the Panaji bus stand. However, the CCP has withdrawn the licence issued to the tea stall.Ironically, authorities appear to have forgotten to repaint the zebra crossing though the monitoring cell of the Road Safety Council had repeatedly, during their inspection, highlighted the need for immediate restoration of the pedestrian crossing.“The monitoring cell of the Road Safety Council has been suggesting to the concerned departments for the last four years to take safety measures at the bus terminus and repaint the zebra crossing but there has been no response. However, it is the responsibility of the Kadamba Transport Corporation to implement the recommendations,” a transport official said. According to the Indian Roads Congress (IRC) 103-1988, a zebra crossing must be accompanied by a ‘STOP’ line as per the IRC 35-1970 Code of Practice for Road Markings.(with paints), but this has been ignored. In its absence, buses are seen stopping on the zebra crossing creating a hurdle to the pedestrians.

Water pipeline burst at Siolim damages road
Times of India | 3 months ago
Times of India
3 months ago

PANAJI: A major water pipeline of the water resources department (WRD) burst at Siolim on Wednesday, resulting in the road over the pipeline caving in. Residents were startled when they heard a loud thud in the morning, only to realise later that the sound was caused by the pipeline burst. The pressure of the water breaking through the road surface could have possibly resulted in the sound. Officials said that due to the nature of the damage, it would take at least five days to repair the pipeline and restore the road. “The WRD has been informed of the damage and they will begin repair work at the earliest. Only once the pipeline is repaired will it be possible to take up repairs. It is expected that by Monday, the pipeline and the road will be restored,” said an official. A lot of water flowed onto the road, leading to wastage while also briefly affecting movement of vehicles along the road. Water supply to nearby areas will also be affected over the next few days due to the damage to the pipeline.

Water pipeline burst at Siolim damages road
  • Siolim road ‘cracks open’ during work on new pipeline
  • Navhind Times

    Mapusa: A portion of Siolim-Marna road was damaged on Wednesday during work related to commissioning of a new water pipeline by the Water Resources Department. According to information, on Wednesday at around 1 p.m., near the Siolim Health centre, there was a loud sound followed by the road ‘cracking open’ and water gushing out. Locals said it appeared like a pipeline burst, however, a few minutes later the water flow stopped.As per information, a smallportion of a pipe placed to check water pressure dismantled, causing a loud sound and release of water which entered a shop in the vicinity.Sarpanch of Siolim-Marna panchayat William Fernandes informed that after receiving information about the incident he rushed to the spot.“I visited the spot and also informed the water resources officials about the incident and they also visited the site. It appeared like the water pipeline burst,” said Fernandes.It may be recalled that the concerned department has undertaken the work of laying of a new water pipeline in Siolim constituency to connect Tillari water supply to the proposed treatment unit to resolve water issues in the constituency. The work of laying of new pipeline was completed last year. When contacted, the water resources officials denied that the main water pipeline is damaged and claimed that it was just a pressure testing mechanism wherein a small pipe placed at the joint got dismantled.Elaborating on the issue, they said that “at every 500 metres, pressure testing points are kept to test pressure in the pipeline and after completing the pipeline laying work all such points are joined with a small piece of pipe. On Wednesday, we were commissioning the water pipeline and full pressure was released to test when a small piece of pipe at the joint dismantled which led to the damage. We expect to complete the repairwork in one or two days.”

Goa assembly elections: Women voters outnumber men, highest in Bicholim
Times of India | 3 months ago
Times of India
3 months ago

PANAJI: Women came out in large numbers to vote on February 14 recording a higher voter turnout of 80.96% as compared to the men at 78.19%. The voter turn out among women was higher than men in all assembly constituencies barring six, which were all in North Goa — Mapusa, Panaji, St Cruz, Sanquelim, Poriem and Valpoi. This is despite women finding poor representation, with only 26 — or 8.6% — of women out of the 301 candidates contesting the 2022 assembly elections. However, there was a stark difference in the voter turnout of the two sexes between South Goa and North Goa. The male voter turnout in South Goa was 75.79% and female voter turnout 80.62%, while in North Goa the male turnout was 80.93% and female 81.35%. Eight out of the nine people registered as third genders voted for the first time under the third gender category. With all the talk of women empowerment and schemes for women, well-established national political parties didn’t set an example with newer political parties fielding more women candidates than them. Twenty-five of the 40 constituencies didn’t have a single woman candidate. Women constitute 51.36% of the total electorate and men 48.64%. BJP, which contested 40 seats, fielded only three women — in Poriem, Taleigao and Cumbarjua, while Congress contesting 37 seats gave tickets to only two women candidates — in Siolim and Valpoi. Nine of the 12 parties contesting gave tickets to women and six women contested as independents from the constituencies of Mapusa, Siolim, Aldona, Mayem, Dabolim and Sanguem. Interestingly, all constituencies except for Vasco and Ponda have more female than male electorate. The lowest male turnout was recorded in Velim (65.2%), Benaulim (66.3%), Navelim (68.7%), Vasco (69.2%) and Nuvem (69.9%). The highest female turnout was seen in Bicholim (89.8%), Sanquelim (89.6%), Mandrem (88.8%), Sanguem (88.6%) and Priol (88.4%). Those on polling duty, including polling staff and police personnel, who couldn’t vote at their own polling stations will be submitting postal ballots. They have until 8am of March 10 to submit their votes following which the turnout in each constituency will change by a very small margin.

Goa assembly elections: Women voters outnumber men, highest in Bicholim
Covid claims 5 more lives in Goa, toll at 3,782
Times of India | 3 months ago
Times of India
3 months ago

PANAJI: Goa recorded five Covid deaths, 118 new cases and 259 recoveries over the past 24 hours. The case positivity rate marginally rose to 4.3%, while the active caseload further reduced to 1,608. The fatality count rose to 3,782. Most of the deaths recorded over the past two weeks were of people aged between 70 and 80 and above, and had one or more comorbidities. Several of them were not vaccinated, revealed the mortality bulletin. Though the daily average of Covid deaths of seven to eight has reduced, fatalities have not stopped after the third wave descended, and plateaued, and this will continue to be at this level for some more time, experts feel. “It is unlikely that cases will touch zero any time soon even as a further drop in infections is expected,” a health official said. The recovery rate during the day was 97.7%, which has significantly increased over the past few days, corresponding to the drop in the infections. Seven people were hospitalised during the day and five were discharged. The number of people requiring hospitalisation have also reduced.

Covid claims 5 more lives in Goa, toll at 3,782
To avoid overcrowding, new venues added to Panajis four-day Carnival celebration
Times of India | 3 months ago
Times of India
3 months ago

PANAJI: The city’s streets will be decorated with the colours of Carnival between February 26 and March 1. This year’s celebrations will also see added venues—the newly renovated walkway along Miramar beach among others—in a bid to space out the crowd. The float parade will kickstart at 3pm and will feature tableaux in the categories of traditional, club and institutions, family, junk and jokers. “The Corporation of the City of Panaji (CCP) has planned a series of events across the city, along with industry stakeholders, citizens and community champions. Like previous years, this year too, citizens, establishments and the city authorities will join forces to celebrate and revive the nostalgia of the years gone by,” said CCP commissioner Agnelo Fernandes. The centrally-located Jardin Garcia de Orta will transform into the Samba Square during the four-day celebration in Panaji. In addition, cycle tours and walking trails will be held in the city. “The food and beverage trade community has come together to support the city authorities in their efforts. Hotels, restaurants and culinary hotspots have planned to bring the flavour of the carnival into their establishments by curating special carnival-theme menus and decor,” said Taj Group of Hotels area director Vincent Ramos. A host of food stalls and culinary pop-ups have also been planned at the Samba Square and the Miramar beachfront. A dedicated zone is being created for local culinary entrepreneurs or ‘foodpreneurs’ in an effort by the city to encourage them and offer a platform to showcase their creations, said Panaji-based restaurateur Prahlad Sukhatankar. Introduced by the Portuguese over 500 years ago, the four-day Carnival celebration is an annual festivity that takes place three days before Ash Wednesday, which marks the beginning of the Lenten season observed by the Catholic community. Apart from active participation by locals, Carnival festivities also draw tourists from across the country.

To avoid overcrowding, new venues added to Panajis four-day Carnival celebration
Goa: Multi-cornered contests likely to split votes in many seats, rebels hold key
Times of India | 3 months ago
Times of India
3 months ago

PANAJI: Polling for assembly election 2022 has ended with no clarity on whether BJP will manage to secure its stronghold of North Goa through the 15 constituencies that it had represented. North Goa recorded a poll percentage of 79. 8%. North Goa comprises 19 constituencies spread across five talukas of Sattari, Bicholim, Pernem, Bardez and Tiswadi, of which Bardez has the highest number of seven constituencies. BJP was representing 15 among these, including those which came to BJP after MGP and Congress MLAs defected to join BJP. All eyes are on Sanquelim as Pramod Sawant is BJP’s chief ministerial candidate and is fighting anti-incumbency. The constituency is expected to witness a tough battle between Sawant and Congress candidate Dharmesh Saglani. Out of five constituencies in Tiswadi, Panaji is crucial and prestigious for BJP as it was represented by former chief minister Manohar Parrikar. Panaji MLA Atanasio ‘Babush’ Monserrate and Parrikar ’s son Utpal are fighting a battle to grab the seat. BJP retained the same candidates in Tiswadi, except Cumbarjua where it denied candidature to sitting MLA Pandurang Madkaikar on health grounds and instead fielded his wife Janita. In Tiswadi, in most constituencies, BJP is fighting with Congress and in some constituencies, there is triangular fight. BJP, which is eyeing to secure both seats in Sattari taluka, has fielded Rane couple Vishwajit and Deviya. Both, Congress and BJP are eyeing at securing maximum seats in Bardez to form the next government, while TMC is eyeing at opening their account through Tivim constituency where former MLA Kiran Kandolkar’s wife Kavita is giving a tough fight to BJP sitting MLA Nilkanth Halarnkar. Also, the impact of former BJP minister and Calangute MLA Michael Lobo quitting BJP and joining Congress is yet to be known. Congress is eyeing at securing maximum seats in Bardez with the help of Lobo. BJP has a tough task ahead a s BJP is fighting their own rebels in Saligao, Calangute and Siolim. Ahead of polls, to counter Lobo’s influence, BJP fielded Rohan Khaunte from Porvorim and Jayesh Salgaonkar in Saligao which led to rebellion among its karyakartas. Former ZP member Rupesh Naik and Reis Magos sarpanch Kedar Naik are contesting as independent and Congress candidates, respectively. Talukas of Bicholim and Pernem have become breeding ground for MGP where they are giving tough fights to BJP candidates. BJP had dropped sitting MLA Pravin Zantye to fight antiincumbency and imported MGP probable candidate Premendra Shet who is BJP candidate. With former CM Laxmikant Parsekar turning rebel to contest a s an independent after being denied the ticket, BJP is also fighting a strong contender in Mandrem.

Goa: Multi-cornered contests likely to split votes in many seats, rebels hold key
  • Goa assembly elections: From far & wide they travel home, make their vote count
  • Times of India

    PANAJI: Rajani Subanna timed her return from the United States to perfection. “I could not afford to miss my right to vote,” said Subanna, who arrived in Goa last month, completed a two-week quarantine, did her Covid-19 tests and ensured she was there to vote at the state assembly polls on Monday. “Every government promises so many things which they don’t fulfil. For the uneducated, politicians provide Rs 5,000, some even more, and people fall for that. We don’t want to see this kind of government, and if we want to change, it’s all in our hands,” she said. Just like Subanna, who travels to the United States and spends time with her daughter, several others who are based out of the state, ensured that they were in Goa to vote for candidates of their choice. Take Fr Lui Heredia for example. The parish priest at St Joseph’s Church in Pune has been out of Goa since the eighties, but for the last few elections has made sure he makes the trip home to vote for the candidates of his choice. “We say that Goa needs to be saved and it’s all in our hands now. If we don’t exercise our vote now, we don’t have the right to talk about it later. We keep blaming, but we are the ones electing the representatives. That’s why I said, I need to be true to myself before criticising, and I need to do what I am supposed to do. Then I have a right to talk. As a priest, I should be credible enough to preach to others,” said Heredia, who had also made the long trip home for the 2017 assembly elections. Salome Fernandes has been unfailingly travelling from Pune, where she practices as a lawyer, to Goa, whenever elections are held. “This is our duty, I have never missed any election,” said Fernandes, who travelled to Goa on Sunday evening and packed her bags for Pune on Monday morning. “We have the right to choose our representatives. If we choose the wrong one, we cannot blame anyone. It’s up to the citizens to make the correct choice so that everything runs smoothly.” Vineeth Viswambharan has been employed with an agro export company in Delhi for the last five years, but has never taken his right to vote for granted. “Every eligible citizen should vote. Unless you vote, how will you bring about a change? If you don’t vote, you don’t have the right to criticise the government. I am glad that corporates have always supported employees in their quest to vote, but sadly there are many who use the holiday for other purposes,” said Viswambharan.

  • Good voter turnout in Mormugao
  • Navhind Times

    Staff ReporterVascoThe voting to the assembly election in Mormugao taluka saw voters, from all age groups, flocking to the booths to exercise their franchise.James Fernandes, 71, who came with a supporting stick and took small steps to walk towards the booth, said that “I have never missed a single election. I want my voice to be heard and I am lucky to have been accompanied by my wife. Coming to cast vote with my valentine is a good experience.”While the police presence was seen in large numbers, the supporters of candidates were seen moving house-to-house encouraging people to vote. Senior citizens, who needed help, were transported by private vehicles to the booths by the supporters of the candidates. The entire taluka witnessed about 75% voting on Monday. In Mormugao constituency, of the 20,412 voters 16,590 exercised their franchise with voting percentage recorded at around 81%. In Dabolim constituency, of the 23,623 voters, 17,680 cast their vote taking voting percentage to around 71%.In Vasco constituency, 25,070 voters, of the 35,555 voting population, exercised their franchise with around 70% voting being recorded. In Cortalim constituency, of the 30,535, around 23,000 voted with 76% voting.For entire Mormugao taluka, the voting percentage was recorded at around 75%. As many as 33 candidates contested in the taluka.

  • Goa goes to polls today
  • Navhind Times

    * 11.64 lakh to vote * Fate of 301 candidates to be sealedPanaji: Elections to the 40 seats of the Goa Legislative Assembly will be held on Monday amidst tight security.The electronic voting machines (EVMs) and voter-verifiable paper audit trail (VVPAT) machines, along with the election-related paraphernalia, was dispatched from the respective distribution centres on Sunday afternoon and all the equipment reached the 1,722 different designated polling stations across the state by late evening.Polling will begin at 7 a.m. and end at 6 p.m. A total of 301 candidates are in the fray for the polls, including 68 Independents whose fate will be sealed in the EVMs. There are a total of 11,64,224 voters, including 5,66,241 male voters, 5,97,974 female voters and nine voters of the third gender, who are entitled to vote in the state.A total of 10,495 personnel have been deputed on election duty and as per the assessment, every polling station will have a presiding officer, three polling officers and a peon apart from the booth-level officer.The chief election officer (CEO) has deployed an adequate number of central forces in all the polling stations across the state to ensure a free and fair election process. The CEO office has said that each and every polling station in the state will be webcasted to capture real time information from webcasting feeds on computer vision technology and to track crowding inside the polling stations and the countingof voters etc.In order to make the entire experience of voting pleasant and enriching, the CEO office has set up 40 model polling stations, 105 pink and 11 green polling booths. Eight polling booths will also be managed by persons with disabilities.A sufficient number of EVMs and VVPATs have been kept in reserve, in case any EVM or VVPAT malfunctions, the CEO office said adding that additional polling staff has also been kept on standby in case their services are required in an emergency.The CEO office has informed that for constituencies falling under the North Goa district, the EVMs and VVPATs will be brought back from all the polling stations after the completion of the polling process and kept in the strong room set up at the Government Polytechnic College in Altinho, Panaji. For the South Goa constituencies, the strong room has been set up in Margao.In the strong rooms, the EVMs and VVPATs will be kept under the constant watch of state and central security forces.

  • Goa Election 2022 Updates: 78.94 per cent tentative voter turnout recorded
  • Times of India

  • Goa polls: Anti-incumbency fight for BJP; Congress battles division of votes
  • Times of India

    Panaji: On Monday, as voting booths open at 7am, Goa will kickstart the process of electing a new government for the next five years with no clear-cut indication if any party will reach the magical mark of 21 in the 40-member House. With the political waters muddled by high octane campaigning, the hazy and uncertain mosaic has made these elections unprecedented not only for the 11.64 lakh electorate, but also the 301 candidates from 12 political parties and Independents. Fighting anti-incumbency, BJP is going to the polls alone—contesting all 40 seats for the first time—with the hope of securing a third consecutive term. BJP’s hope hinges on the split in votes among the fragmented opposition that will help in consolidating the gains for the cadre-based party. Congress, which is in a head-on fight with BJP in many constituencies, is banking on its appeal not to split votes and voters’ conviction that only it has the capacity to form a non-BJP government. AAP or TMC, or both, could open their accounts this time, say analysts. Already facing anti-incumbency amidst charges of corruption in job recruitment, Covid mismanagement and defections, BJP’s image took a beating as former chief minister Manohar Parrikar’s son Utpal as well as former chief minister Laxmikant Parsekar quit the party to contest as independents. This is also the first assembly election that BJP is going to battle without Parrikar. In the absence of Parrikar, who would micro-manage each campaign, BJP’s central leadership has had to do the heavy-lifting in this election. Union ministers Amit Shah, Rajnath Singh, Nitin Gadkari and Smriti Irani, besides national president J P Nadda were among the heavyweights who not only visited Goa for rallies, but also got down to doing door-to-door campaigning. An insider said BJP is trying its best and using all available resources at hand as losing the 2022 polls would be a major setback the party cannot afford to in view of entry of new players in the political arena. With its long-time partner MGP refusing to tie-up with BJP and instead going with TMC, BJP seems to be trying consolidation of votes. Anticipating that MGP would also get a slice of the Hindu votes especially in the hinterland talukas of Pernem, Ponda, Bicholim, Sanguem and Dharbandora, BJP used its tactics to poach their candidates in Pernem and Mayem. TMC, a new entrant, trying its luck for the second time in the state elections, went on the rampage recruiting from Congress beginning with former CM and Navelim MLA Luizinho Faleiro. When a tie-up or merger with GFP didn’t happen, TMC poached its working president Kiran Kandolkar and others. Then came BJP, even welcoming two-three legislators who had until recently been bitter critics of the saffron party. TMC, powered by Prashant Kishor’s IPAC, has been talking of forming the next government in Goa. The juggernaut-like image created for election purposes to make people believe that only TMC can uproot BJP and form an alternative government, will take a nose-dive if the party fails to get enough seats. AAP, which made its debut in Goa in the 2017 assembly polls without any success, has worked towards consolidating its strength in some constituencies but has no high-profile politician in its ranks. Delhi CM and AAP’s national convener Arvind Kejriwal has visited Goa several times in the past two months, announcing what are now called “Kejriwal guarantees”, posing AAP as the “best alternative” to BJP. Revolutionary Goans, an organisation formed with an objective of protection of Goan identity, has also been gaining traction. But with consolidation of votes likely, RG may not be able to wrest seats.

Silent voters will have big say in fight for Manohar Parrikar’s legacy in Panaji
Times of India | 3 months ago
Times of India
3 months ago

PANAJI: The hot seat of Panaji is being watched not only by citizens in the state but also by those outside it, as former defence minister Manohar Parrikar’s son Utpal has decided to contest against BJP — the party his father nurtured — after he was denied a ticket. Utpal’s uncle, Avdhoot Parrikar, made his presence felt at Miramar at a tent set up by Utpal’s supporters, while playback singer Hema Sardesai stopped by to drum up support for the newbie. Few metres away, BJP workers who had worked against Atanasio ‘Babush’ Monserrate in the last election, took their work seriously, checking the rolls to ensure all their voters had come out to vote. “We are party karyakartas and we respect the mandal’s decision. He (Monserrate) has a different style of working and we are giving him the basic support. They (Utpal) don’t have workers. They’re saying there are silent voters but they don’t have enough workers and they’re moving about with the same team everywhere,” a BJP worker said. “He (Utpal) is totally depending on the legacy of his father, but Babush is helping people,” the worker added. This view was echoed by a voter who said Monserrate’s criminal background would not deter him from voting for the MLA yet again. “We cannot forget the work he (Monserrate) did when Panaji was without water for a week and when it was flooded. He responds to messages and takes prompt action when we need anything. We didn’t vote for the party but personally voted for him. Utpal came out of the blue and we don’t know his capability,” the voter said. Avdhoot Parrikar, on the other hand, insisted that the silent voters hold the key. “There’s a strong undercurrent everywhere in Goa, particularly in those constituencies where foreigners have entered into the party. Nobody will be able to predict the results before March 10,” he said. “People who come from the top should understand that this has divided relationships and now there’s a split. Everyone used to consider BJP as a party with a difference, but now, with Congress MLAs jumping to BJP, what difference is left?” he said. When asked about Utpal being denied a ticket, another supporter and RSS worker said, “National parties have something wrong with their procedure to pick candidates.” “It’s not a split, it’s a change for good. Something is wrong and one should change that. We are not fighting against anybody but some have shifted their goalpost and we want to bring it back to the original place,” Avdhoot said. Panaji citizens said Congress’ Elvis Gomes could be the dark horse if Utpal takes away Babush’s votes. A Congress supporter said this is the first time the party has given a “literate candidate who held responsible positions and has conducted himself very well”. Another said AAP’s Valmiki Naik will fare better than he did in the last election.

Silent voters will have big say in fight for Manohar Parrikar’s legacy in Panaji
Goa assembly elections: Voters give green signal to eco booths, hope for more next time
Times of India | 3 months ago
Times of India
3 months ago

PANAJI: At the government primary school, Karaswada, palm fronds woven into the shape of a large heart welcomed voters on Monday — polling day, which also happened to be Valentine’s Day. The Karaswada polling station, on this election day, was one of ten in different parts of the state designed as green polling stations. At these eco-friendly stations, not only was the decor made entirely from biodegradable material, but it was made by traditional artisans brought together from Goa’s interiors. From dry paddy sheaves hanging over the polling booth doorway to bamboo baskets for BLOs to carry election related material, voters saw an eco-friendly avatar of the polling exercise at the ten booths for the very first time in Goa. Each of the green polling stations had uniquely designed décor, with some also flaunting eco-friendly selfie points. The chief electoral officer’s team joined hands with the Goa state biodiversity board (GSBB) to get these environment-friendly crafts done, and officials are now hoping to increase the number of such booths for the next polls. “Instead of carpets made from synthetic material, coir mats were used. Clay jugs and cups were also provided for polling booth staff. After the elections, we will also be conducting green skilling workshops, so we are ready to provide 50 to 100 green booths by next elections,” said GSBB member secretary Pradip Sarmokadam. While the bamboo trays and garbage bins have been procured from the state government handicraft outlets, the rest of the décor was handmade specially for polling day by local artisans. Navaso Harijan from Keri, Sattari, Suryakant Gaonkar from Honda, the family of Ramkrishna Gaude from Keri, Ponda, and Dattaprasad Prabhugaonkar from Loliem, Canacona, were among the key artisans to help ready the green polling stations. Two polling stations in Panaji and one each in Bicholim, Mapusa, Karaswada, Valpoi, Ponda, Cortalim, Fatorda, Canacona received the green makeover. “Along with me, my wife Rashmi, daughter Rupita and brother Shambu were handed the responsibility to prepare eight green polling stations. It took us around two full days to create one booth. I was already into the business of making eco-friendly decors for weddings and thread ceremonies, so we had the skills for it,” said Gaude. “There are so many different ways in which we can weave palm leaves and there are unlimited possibilities in creating such green décor. If these possibilities are explored, there will be no need to use thermocol and other non-biodegradable material ever again.” The artisans said that if it is ensured that all government events utilize eco-friendly décor, only then can the sector generate jobs for rural youth. “To ensure safety at the green polling stations due to the nature of the material, we have also provided fire extinguishers,” said Sarmokadam. Meanwhile, voters said they would like to see more green at their polling booth. “It was a good start. We could do with more of such décor,” said voter Mukesh Dias at the Dona Paula green polling booth.

Goa assembly elections: Voters give green signal to eco booths, hope for more next time
Goa: Voting ends but suspense continues as BJP, Congress look at magic 21-mark
Times of India | 3 months ago
Times of India
3 months ago

Panaji: One of the most tempestuous election that Goa has witnessed in recent times came to an end on Monday with nearly 9.2 lakh or 79% of the electorate exercising their franchise, with no clear-cut indication if any party will be able to touch the magic mark of 21 in the 40-member House. Amid massive anti-incumbency and simmering discontentment over unemployment, BJP is hoping for a third term, while Congress has been able to regroup itself and is now the main challenger to the saffron party. In most crucial constituencies, it is a straight fight between BJP and Congress, with silent voters holding the key, while the presence of AAP and TMC has created a perception of division of votes. The results will be declared on March 10. While Sanquelim constituency, represented by chief minister Pramod Sawant recorded the highest turnout of 89.64%, Benaulim recorded the lowest with 70.2%. North Goa recorded a voter turnout of 79.84% and South Goa 78.15%. In all, Goa has 11.64 lakh voters, of which 5.9 lakh are women. “These are tentative figures, and the actual turnout is expected to cross the 80%-mark,” chief electoral officer Kunal said. These polls are crucial for Sawant, who is leading the first full-fledged election for BJP in the absence of Manohar Parrikar and contesting all 40 seats. “BJP will overcome the anti-incumbency factor with the developmental works done in the past eight years. We are confident of crossing the 22-seat mark,” Sawant told TOI. Congress, which was left with a single MLA in Digambar Kamat, is looking at its revival in this election by securing maximum seats in Salcete and Bardez, which has the highest number of constituencies. After the 2017 fiasco and en masse defection, Congress denied tickets to defectors and made its candidates sign anti-defection affidavits and take oath before gods. Congress also announced its candidates well in advance and forged a pre-poll alliance with GFP. Kamat exuded confidence that Congress would form the next government. “We have appealed to the people to vote for stability and decisive government and not to give fractured mandate. We feel people have voted for a decisive government and Congress. You will witness many surprises on March 10. Political parties that have come to divide votes will be shown their place. They will know why former Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru said that ajeeb hai yeh Goa ke log,” he told TOI. MGP, too, is eyeing at becoming a key player in forming the next government and is giving a tough fight to BJP in Ponda, Pernem and Bicholim talukas. A poll observer said with MGP growing in these talukas, BJP will have a tough battle to secure maximum seats. This is the first time that MGP has tied up with a party that does not match its ideology. As part of their pan-India expansionist plans, AAP and TMC are looking at opening their account. All eyes are on the prestigious Panaji seat, represented for nearly 25 years by Parrikar. Son Utpal is taking BJP head on as an Independent after he was denied a ticket, while up north in Mandrem, former CM Laxmikant Parsekar has emerged as a strong contender to BJP after he, too, was denied a ticket. In a first, Goa also witnessed seven families in the fray, contesting 35% of the seats, some of whom are trying their luck for the first time in the assembly election. The polling for all seats was by and large peaceful. There was an incident in Bicholim where a car of a BJP functionary was set ablaze. There was tension in Benaulim after a clash between supporters of AAP and TMC. Vasco, Sanguem and Navelim constituencies, too, witnessed some minor incidents. An FIR was also registered against a youth from Ponda for recording himself while casting vote. The polling day also witnessed replacement of some EVMs following non-functioning.

Goa: Voting ends but suspense continues as BJP, Congress look at magic 21-mark
N Goa voters keep everyone on tenterhooks
Times of India | 3 months ago
Times of India
3 months ago

Panaji: Polling for assembly election 2022 has ended with no clarity on whether BJP will manage to secure its stronghold of North Goa through the 15 constituencies that it had represented. North Goa recorded a poll percentage of 79.8%. North Goa comprises 19 constituencies spread across five talukas of Sattari, Bicholim, Pernem, Bardez and Tiswadi, of which Bardez has the highest number of seven constituencies. BJP was representing 15 among these, including those which came to BJP after MGP and Congress MLAs defected to join BJP. All eyes are on Sanquelim as Pramod Sawant is BJP’s chief ministerial candidate and is fighting anti-incumbency. The constituency is expected to witness a tough battle between Sawant and Congress candidate Dharmesh Saglani. Out of five constituencies in Tiswadi, Panaji is crucial and prestigious for BJP as it was represented by former chief minister Manohar Parrikar. Panaji MLA Atanasio ‘Babush’ Monserrate and Parrikar’s son Utpal are fighting a battle to grab the seat. BJP retained the same candidates in Tiswadi, except Cumbarjua where it denied candidature to sitting MLA Pandurang Madkaikar on health grounds and instead fielded his wife Janita. In Tiswadi, in most constituencies, BJP is fighting with Congress and in some constituencies, there is triangular fight. BJP, which is eyeing to secure both seats in Sattari taluka, has fielded Rane couple Vishwajit and Deviya. Both, Congress and BJP are eyeing at securing maximum seats in Bardez to form the next government, while TMC is eyeing at opening their account through Tivim constituency where former MLA Kiran Kandolkar’s wife Kavita is giving a tough fight to BJP sitting MLA Nilkanth Halarnkar. Also, the impact of former BJP minister and Calangute MLA Michael Lobo quitting BJP and joining Congress is yet to be known. Congress is eyeing at securing maximum seats in Bardez with the help of Lobo. BJP has a tough task ahead as BJP is fighting their own rebels in Saligao, Calangute and Siolim. Ahead of polls, to counter Lobo’s influence, BJP fielded Rohan Khaunte from Porvorim and Jayesh Salgaonkar in Saligao which led to rebellion among its karyakartas. Former ZP member Rupesh Naik and Reis Magos sarpanch Kedar Naik are contesting as independent and Congress candidates, respectively. Talukas of Bicholim and Pernem have become breeding ground for MGP where they are giving tough fights to BJP candidates. BJP had dropped sitting MLA Pravin Zantye to fight anti-incumbency and imported MGP probable candidate Premendra Shet who is BJP candidate. With former CM Laxmikant Parsekar turning rebel to contest as an independent after being denied the ticket, BJP is also fighting a strong contender in Mandrem.

N Goa voters keep everyone on tenterhooks