Lok Sabha elections 2009 seem to be throwing up more challenges to the sitting Members of Parliament in Goa this time around compared to recent election years.
Goa's populace is now witnessing 24 candidates in the fray for the Panaji and Mormugao Parliamentary seats. However the exact number of candidates would be known only by the 8th of April 2009, the day fixed for the withdrawal of nominations.
In the year 1999, the number of contestants in North and south Goa was eight candidates each, while seven were in the fray in 2004 in North Goa and nine candidates stood for the coveted seat in South Goa.
The number of candidates in North Goa has traditionally been on the lower side. However the polls in 1984 saw 12 candidates in the North while polls in 1989 and 1991 saw 13 and 15 candidates respectively. In the polls on six occasions till 2004 less than nine candidates had contested the elections in the Panaji parliamentary constituency.
South Goa however has seen marginally higher number of candidates traditionally entering the ring. While the year 1996 saw a whopping 21 candidates contesting the elections here, there have been 12 candidates in the years 1989 and 18 in 1991. On six occasions though their number has been less than nine candidates.
The highest number of candidates both from Panaji and Mormugao constituency has been 33 candidates in the year 1991 with a record 15 candidates contesting in north Goa while 18 candidates fought the elections in the south of Goa. The tally included nine independents each in both the constituencies. However only two of the independents in South Goa could cross the four figure mark
The record for the most number of candidates in either constituency was therefore in the year 1996 when 21 candidates stood for elections in South Goa including 16 independents.