Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal will address their respective public rallies in Goa next week, to campaign for Lok Sabha polls. Speaking to PTI, Goa BJP’s state president Vinay Tendulkar said:
“Modi will address a public meeting in Goa on April 12. The venue of the public meeting is yet to be finalised, but it would be in North Goa Lok Sabha constituency."
On the other side, Aam Aadmi Party's state convener Elvis Gomes said:
“Aam Aadmi Party chief Kejriwal will address a rally in South Goa constituency on April 13.”
Though Goa has only two Lok Sabha seats, it has been at the center of events in the past. Polls are also being held in the three assembly seats in Goa - Mandrem, Shiroda and Mapusa. The seats of Mandrem and Shiroda went vacant after two Congress MLAs - Subhash Shirodkar (Shiroda) and Dayanand Sopte (Mandrem) - resigned last year to join the BJP.
The two Lok Sabha seats in Goa and bypolls in three Assembly seats will be held on April 23. BJP has fielded its sitting MPs - Shripad Naik from North Goa and Narendra Sawaikar from South Goa. Both the candidates have already filed their nominations. AAP has named Gomes as its South Goa candidate and Pradeep Padgaonkar from North Goa.
Another seat in Goa’s capital of Panaji went vacant after the demise of Goa’s CM Manohar Parrikar on March 18. However, the Election Commission has not yet issued a notice about the bypolls in the seat.
Goa also came into controversy last year during Karanataka elections when the Congress cried foul that it had not been invited to form the government in Goa after the February 2017 Assembly polls despite it emerging as the single largest party. It stalked claim over the government after Parrikar’s demise but the newly appointed CM Pramod Sawant successfully proved his majority in the assembly. After winning majority test for the BJP-led alliance in the State Assembly, Sawant also said that his party will win all by-elections for the Assembly seats and both the Lok Sabha seats this time. Though AAP did not win any seats in Goa in the 2017 assembly elections, they have decided to contest on the two seats Lok Sabha seats and three seats where bypolls are being held.
(with inputs from PTI)