Babush wins CCP poll with wafer-tin majority

GOANEWS DESK, PANAJI | 14 March 2011 20:38 IST

Education Minister Babush Monseratte ultimately scraped through to win the Panaji Corporation poll by getting a wafer thin majority of 16 in the 30-ward CCP.

Panaji First, the BJP-backed panel won 12 seats while two independents – Surendra Furtado and his wife Ruth – retained their seats as independents.

“Yes, we won but I am not happy with the results”, said Babush, who had claimed 27 seats earlier.

No person from the BJP was however available for comments.

Ashok Naik, the candidate projected as Mayor by the BJP-backed panel, lost to three-time councillor Yatin Parekh of Babush-backed panel by 111 votes.

It appears that the citizens’ movement started by prominent city doctors and others made a huge impact in the poll, though they could not garner majority seats by defeating Babush-backed Panaji Vikas Aghadi.

Large number of citizens were expecting a change as almost 75 per cent voters had come out to vote yesterday, unlike in the past. The last CCP poll in 2006 had recorded 63 per cent voting.

Dr Oscar Rebello, leader of the Panajiites Initiative for Change (PINC) said this is a beginning. “Now alert citizens should continue being alert and play more active role”, he said.

His group had identified 29 candidates, including of the BJP, NCP and independents. However, only 11 of them could win, mostly from the BJP. The NCP did not win a single seat.

His view was also endorsed by Dr Rufin Monteiro, belonging to Friends of Good Governance, another citizens’ group that was supporting Panaji First panel of the BJP.

Though Babush panel won the poll, it lost two sets in Taleigao Assembly segment led by Babush while one seat in Panaji also it lost. The BJP also lost one seat, merely by four votes, in Panaji.

Babush panel increased its number of votes in altogether six wards, but reduced drastically in almost nine wards. Comparatively, BJP reduced its number of votes only in three wards, but gained in six wards.

Another significant development is 16 women getting elected to the CCP, including 10 wards reserved for women, including OBC women. Three councillors each belonging to both the panels – total six – were elected from general wards.

All eyes were set on CCP poll since for the first time prominent citizens had taken initiative in creating anti-Babush wave. Though it did not translate into winning majority seats, Babush got enough beating, which he also admitted.

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