The two parliamentary seats in Goa will go to polls during the third phase of 2019 Lok Sabha elections. Voters in the North Goa and South Goa Lok Sabha constituencies will cast their votes on Tuesday. Six candidates each from both the seats are in the electoral fray this time.
While the real competition in the state is expected to be between the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and the Indian National Congress (INC), several other contenders have also thrown their hats in the ring. The Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) has fielded candidates from both seats in the state. On the other hand, a Shiv Sena candidate is joining the electoral battle from the South Goa constituency.
In the 2014 Lok Sabha elections, the BJP had won both the seats with a substantial margin. The Congress party was the second place holder in both constituencies.
As matters stand, BJP seems to have the best chance among all the contenders. Meanwhile, Congress has the support of the Maharashtrawadi Gomantak Party after its separation from the BJP. The MGP had allied with BJP after the last state Assembly elections in Goa. The alliance ended after MGP leader Sudin Dhavalikar was dropped from the state cabinet.
From the North Goa Lok Sabha seat, the BJP has once again fielded Shripad Yesso Naik. The incumbent Union Minister of State for AYUSH has represented North Goa in Lok Sabha since 1999. This time around, Congress has given the ticket to Girish Raya Chodankar. Dattatraya Vittal Padgaonkar of AAP is also contesting from the North Goa seat.
From the South Goa seat, BJP has once again fielded Narendra Sawaikar, who will go against Congress' Cosme Francisco Caitano Sardinha. Shiv Sena, BJP's ally in the neighbouring state of Maharashtra, has fielded Rakhi Amit Naik from the seat, whereas AAP has given the ticket to Elvis Gomes.
Bypolls to three Assembly seats, Shiroda, Mandrem and Mapusa, will also be held in the state on Tuesday.