PANAJI BY-ELECTION

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PANAJI: There was a verbal duel between the Congress candidate Surendra Furtado and the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) workers at Boca de Vaca polling booth over the issue of placement of a polling agent, late Friday evening, after the voting was over.

Around 150 staunch BJP supporters burst crackers and shouted victory slogans upon seeing Furtado at the polling booth at Dayanand Smruti building located along Swami Vivekananda Road.

Some policemen keeping a watch at the booth tried to disperse the crowd, but the crowd was desperately waiting for Furtado to exit the booth.

Furtado had gone there along with his son to oversee the sealing of EVMs as there was no Congress polling booth agent. BJP candidate Sidharth Kuncalienkar was already at the booth.

On seeing the huge crowd, soon some more policemen armed with lathis arrived at the spot with chaos and confusion reigning supreme. Some said that the Congress candidate had alleged that there was bogus voting.

But, the picture became clear after Furtado came out of the polling booth and spoke to the media.

He said that in the morning, objections were raised against a person who was appointed as the Congress party polling agent at the booth as he was not from the area.

Soon heavy police force was deployed at the booth, but the crowd refused to move away. They gathered near the Boca de Vaca fountain gate and blocked vehicular traffic.

As the BJP candidate came out of the booth after completing the formalities, Furtado also began to move away, but the crowd  shouted victory slogans and hurled abuses at him.

With the Panaji police station in-charge Rajendra Prabhudessai and sub-divisional police officer Serafin Dias arriving at the scene along with other policemen, the crowd started dispersing.

Earlier, the executive magistrate Sapna Bandodkar had also tried to pacify the crowd.