By-polls in three ZP seats record poor voter turnout

MARGAO/CALANGUTE: The by-elections to three zilla panchayat segments – Nuvem and Curtorim and Calangute – recorded a poor voter turnout on Sunday, although the polling went off peacefully.
The by-elections to two zilla panchayat seats in Salcete taluka – Nuvem and Curtorim – ended peacefully on Sunday registering the voter turnout of 51.15 per cent and 53.07 per cent respectively.
The by-poll to the Calangute ZP segment recorded 49 per cent voter turnout.
Returning officer for the Nuvem and Curtorim ZP constituencies Uday Prabhudesai said the polling was incident-free.
“The by-elections in Nuvem and Curtorim seats ended peacefully. Polling teams did the job well. No untoward incident was reported,” Prabhudesai said after the voting ended on Sunday evening.
The by-elections in these two ZP segments in Salcete were necessitated after the ZP members Wilfred D’Sa (Nuvem) and Clafasio Dias (Curtorim) were elected as legislators after the assembly elections held early in the year.
Though there has been a triangular contest in Curtorim, the real fight has been between two candidates – Congress nominee Moreno Rebello and Independent candidate Dionisio Sardinha.
On the other hand, in Nuvem there has been a straight fight between Congress candidate Reuben Costa and Independent candidate Marcus Mario Pereira.
The polling started in these two segments on a positive note. The regular Sunday mass goers queued up between 8.30 am to 9.30 am at most of the polling stations, which are closer to churches.
The Nuvem constituency polled 14,693 votes; around 1600 people voted in the first two hours.
The Curtorim constituency polled 18,584 votes; the early hours – between 8 am to 10 am – recorded 13.45 per cent turnout.
However, the pace slowed down as the day wore on, making the polling
a lackluster event in Curtorim and Nuvem.
The candidates and their supporters said that voters have been disaffected over the recent lows in Goan politics, and that “election now comes in every two-three months”.
Speaking to ‘The Navhind Times’ after casting his vote, a 72-year-old retired teacher said, “The indelible ink mark on my finger put during the panchayat election is still there. And here there is one more election. If such things keep happening people will make joke of elections…”
The polled votes will be counted on August 28 at the Margao collectorate.
The by-poll to the Calangute ZP seat recorded 49 per cent voter turnout, as there was no enthusiasm among the voters to come out and vote.
The polling was slow In the morning, but picked up slightly later in the day.
In some booths there were hardly any voters, and at one place a presiding officer was seen reading a newspaper.
The by-poll for the ZP seat was necessitated after Calangute ZP member Shawn Martin resigned to contest the panchayat elections. Martin won the panchayat polls in ward no 10 (Khobrawaddo).
There was absence of poll fever, and Hindu voters have been busy preparing to celebrate Ganesh Chaturthi. Hence the voter turnout was very low in Arpora Nagao as just 1138 people voted. Calangute polled 5376 votes while Candolim polled 3749 votes.
Congress candidate Joy Fernandes complained that his workers were threatened in Candolim. However, he expressed satisfaction with the low turnout which has brightened his chances of victory.

Source:: The Navhind Times

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