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Vasco turnout hit as Goa-registered voters headed back to UP for family weddings, claims MLA

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Panaji, May 12 (PTI) The Lok Sabha poll turnout has been affected in Goa's Vasco assembly segment as many electors registered there left before the polling date for their native places in Uttar Pradesh to attend family weddings, local BJP MLA has claimed.

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In the May 7 polls to the two Lok Sabha seats in the coastal state, the Vasco assembly segment, which comes under the South Goa Lok Sabha constituency, witnessed the lowest turnout of 68 per cent, as per official figures.

Goa recorded 75.20 per cent turnout during polling on May 7. The voting was 76.34 per cent in the North Goa Lok Sabha seat and 73.90 per cent in the South Goa parliamentary constituency, according to data released by the Election Commission of India (ECI).

Vasco assembly segment has been the BJP's stronghold.

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Talking to PTI on Saturday, Vasco MLA Daji Krishna Salkar said during the campaigning, efforts were made to convince voters to stay back till the polling day.

"But we could not stop them from going to their native places as this is the wedding season and everyone has to participate in the functions," he said.

If elections were held in the non-wedding season, the turnout would have been more, the Vasco MLA claimed.

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He said Vasco has several voters with transferrable jobs as they work in the Indian Navy, at the Mormugao Port and other central government establishments.

Hence, there are many people whose names are there in the voters' list but they have stopped staying in Goa after transfer, Salkar said.

Notably, the Indian Navy's INS Hansa base is located near the Vasco assembly segment.

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Salkar said he has filed a complaint with the Election Commission of India (ECI), seeking the deletion of names of those who have been transferred elsewhere.

A group of voters has two voting cards, one in Vasco and the other at their native place in neighbouring Karnataka, he said.

These voters travelled to their native places in Karnataka to exercise their franchise as the date of polling in Goa clashed with that in their state, he claimed.

In South Goa, the Congress denied renomination to its sitting MP Francisco Sardinia and fielded Viriato Fernandes against BJP candidate Pallavi Dempo and Revolutionary Goans Party's Rubert Pereira. PTI RPS GK

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