Panji/Chandigarh: Voting began in Punjab and Goa on Saturday in the first round of a series of assembly elections that will see five states elect new governments over the next 5 weeks.
Punjab and Goa are in three cornered contest with Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) led National Democratic Alliance (NDA) as the incumbent, Congress as the key challenger and Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) which is making a state election debut in both of states.
According to update by the Election Commission, as of 10am Goa has seen a turnout of 15% where as Punjab has witnessed a slow start at 6% voter turnout.
The 117-member Punjab assembly polls will see an incumbent Shiromani Akali Dal-BJP combine, in power for a decade now, fighting one of its toughest electoral fights against former chief minister Captain Amarinder Singh led Congress party and AAP as key challengers.
Congress is contesting all seats on its own, AAP is contesting on 112 seats and five have been given to Lok Insaf Party of Bains brothers where as SAD is contesting 94 seats and has fielded BJP candidates on 23 seats.
In Goa, the ruling BJP faces a stiff challenge from Congress, AAP and an alliance among regional outfit Maharashtrawadi Gomantak Party (MGP), Goa Suraksha Manch (GSM), and Shiv Sena.
Both the states traditionally have a high voter turnout. Polling for both the states happen on Saturday and results will be declared on 11 March.