PANJIM: Along with the Lok Sabha polls, Goa will hold by-elections to three Assembly constituencies of Mandrem, Mapusa and Shiroda.
The Mapusa seat fell vacant following the death of former Dy Chief Minister Francis D’Souza. Mandrem and Shiroda constituencies go to polls as former Congress MLA Subash Shirodkar and Dayanand Sopte resigned from the party to join BJP. Around 16 candidates are in the fray for the by-polls.
A straight fight is expected between BJP’s Joshua D’Souza and Congress’ Sudhir Kandolkar in Mapusa, while Ashish Shirodkar is another strong contender.
In Shiroda too, a tough fight is expected between Shirodkar and MGP president Pandurang (Deepak) Dhavalikar. Mahadev Naik who switched from BJP to Congress is also in the fray.
In Mandrem, Sopte is looking to get re-elected, this time on a BJP ticket, but has a tough challenge from Congress’ Babi Bagkar and Independent Jit Arolkar.
The by-polls are crucial for Goa as it could change the equation in the 40-member Goa legislative Assembly.