NEW DELHI: As Punjab and Goa began voting today to decide on their next governments, Prime Minister Narendra Modi urged voters to turn up in huge numbers and specially asked the youngsters to exercise their voting rights.
“Urging people of Punjab and Goa to turnout in record numbers and vote in the Assembly elections. I particularly urge my young friends to vote,” Prime Minister said in a tweet.
Young voters hold special significance according to the Election Commission, 27 per cent of Punjab`s total voters and 23 per cent in Goa are youngsters in the age group of 18-30. The large number of youngsters is expected to influence the turnout in all five states, especially in Punjab and Goa.
While 1,1,10,884 voters in Goa are expected to vote across 40 Assembly constituencies on Saturday, Punjab will be voting for the 117-seat Vidhan Sabha election. Punjab has 117 assembly seats, Goa has 40. Both states are voting in single phases today.
In Punjab, key contests today feature a direct fight between chief ministerial aspirants Parkash Singh Badal, 89, and Captain Amarinder Singh, 75, of the Congress in Lambi and a mega battle in Jalalabad between Sukhbir Badal and Bhagwant Singh Mann, seen as AAP`s leading contender for chief minister if the party wins.
In Goa, with has 40 assembly seats, the BJP hopes to form government again despite parting ways with partner Maharashtrawadi Gomantak Party (MGP) soon after elections were announced. The MGP, which has set up a three-party regional alliance, threatens to eat into BJP votes.Next week, Uttar Pradesh will vote in the first of seven phases and Uttarakhand and Manipur will vote in single phases for a new government.
Votes for all five states will be counted on March 11.