Counting of votes for elections to two Lok Sabha constituencies and four Assembly seats where by-polls were held, began at 8 am Thursday at two centres. Also Read - Goa Will Not Open For Tourists Until Everyone in State Has Received First Jab of COVID Vaccine

Votes for North Goa district were being counted in Panaji and for South Goa district in Margao, an election official said. Also Read - COVID19: Check Latest Travel Guidelines For Goa, Himachal Pradesh, Uttarakhand And Karnataka

The Assembly constituencies of Panaji, Mandrem and Mapusa fall under North Goa district and Shiroda in South Goa district. Also Read - COVID Travel Updates, June 14: Indian States And Foreign Countries Where Tourists Are Allowed Now

Counting is likely to continue till midnight as along with the Electronic Voting Machines (EVMs), manual counting of VVPATs (Voter Verified Paper Audit Trail) from five booths of each Assembly constituency would be done to match the figures, district election officer R Menaka said.

Results would start trickling in by afternoon, she said, adding that counting for the Assembly byelections is expected to end faster.

A voter turnout of 72.04 per cent was recorded for the two Lok Sabha seats that went to polls on April 23.

Prominent candidates in the fray from North Goa was Union minister Shripad Naik of the BJP.

In South Goa, BJP’s sitting MP Narendra Sawaikar was pitted against former chief minister Francis Sardinha of the Congress.

Besides, by-polls were held in four Assembly seats of Panaji, Mapusa, Mandrem and Shiroda.

The by-polls in Panaji and Mapusa were necessitated due to the death of sitting MLAs Manohar Parrikar and Francis D’Souza, respectively, and in two other seats due to the resignation of Congress legislators.

Panaji was represented by Parrikar, former chief minister, till his death in March this year.

The BJP fielded its former MLA Siddharth Kunkolienkar against former minister Atanasio Monserratte of the Congress in Panaji. Former Goa RSS chief Subhash Velingkar was also in the fray as the Goa Suraksha Manch (GSM) candidate.

In Mapusa Assembly constituency, late MLA Francis D’Souza son Joshua D’Souza contested on the BJP’s ticket against Sudhir Kandolkar of the Congress.

In Mandrem, BJP’s Dayanand Sopte battled Babi Bagkar of the Congress, Swaroop Naik of the GSM and Independent nominee Jeet Arolkar.

In Shiroda, the BJP fielded Subhash Shirodkar against Mahadev Naik of the Congress and Deepak Dhavalikar of the Maharashtrawadi Gomantak Party (MGP).