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The BJP on Sunday sounded the poll bugle for the upcoming Goa Assembly elections, saying it would contest 37 out of the 40 seats in the state Assembly. Goa already has a BJP government, but rivals like the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) would try all means to oust the BJP from power.

The AAP has forever been looking to replicate the electoral success it saw in Delhi in other states and has appointed Elvis Gomes as its chief ministerial candidate. However, after he was summoned by the state Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB) for questioning over his alleged involvement in a land-related scam, the AAP has accused the BJP of misusing the state machinery to undermine its electoral efforts.

The BJP has denied doing any such thing and is seemingly preparing for a strong poll performance. "We have held Vijay Sankalp rallies in 35 constituencies. At present we are ready to contest 37 constituencies on our own without any kind of alliance," PTI quoted Goa BJP general secretary Sadanand Tanawade as saying in state capital Panaji on Sunday.

Tanawade also said, according to the PTI report, that the Maharashtrawadi Gomantak Party (MGP) was still supporting its coalition partner – the BJP – in the state and the government was still intact. It effectively nixed all speculation that the MGP was aligning with the rebel RSS leader Subhash Velingkars Goa Suraksha Manch.

It may be noted that the Election Commission of India (EC) has already put the five poll-bound states of Uttar Pradesh, Punjab, Uttarakhand, Goa and Manipur on alert, asking its machinery at the state level to prepare for the implementation of the Model Code of Conduct. The Model Code of Conduct, also known as the poll code, heralds the start of the election process along with the announcement of important polling dates, like the dates of voting and counting.