Panaji Mayor election postponed, Opp targets Parrikar, creates chaos in House

GOANEWS DESK, PANAJI | 20 March 2013 14:36 IST

Surendra Furtado along with other corporators

Chief minister Manohar Parrikar is caught up in a new controversy as the government suddenly postponed elections of mayor and deputy mayor of Panaji since his candidates were getting defeated.

This development also led to pandemonium in the Assembly with opposition MLAs creating chaos, compelling the speaker to adjourn the House twice.

Surendra Furtado, supported by his corporator wife, was tipped to the Mayor with the support of Congress group, led by Taleigao MLA Babush Monseratte.

The Mayor had to be replaced today after BJP corporator Vaidehi Naik was elected the Mayor on 20 March last year, with the support of Furtado couple.

According to Furtado, Parrikar had gone back on his assurance given last year to make him the Mayor this year since “he considers me a threat in the next Assembly election.”

In spite of having wafer-thin majority of 16 corporators in the 30-member City Corporation of Panaji (CCP), Babush camp had to stay away from power as the two-member Furtado couple of independents had supported BJP candidate Vaidehi last year for Mayor’s post.

While the Corporation gathered today to elect the new Mayor, CCP commissioner Sanjit Rordrigues showed them a letter received from the Director of Municipal Administration regarding election postponement.

The letter stated that the DMA wants to hold the elections only after examining the request from some citizens that both the posts be kept ‘reserved’.

“This is murder of democracy”, said Monseratte while condemning the DMA action, purportedly at the instructions of Parrikar.

Besides Monseratte, Congress MLA Aleixo Reginald Lourenco and Fatorda MLA Vijay Sardesai were also present at the CCP meeting, sitting in the audience.

Later, the opposition members tried to raise the issue during Question Hour. As the speaker did not allow them to speak, the Congress members along with Sardesai rushed to the well of the House, shouting slogans – shame shame!

Congress MLA from Dabolim, Mauvin Godinho, however did not join them.

As the members continued shouting  slogans while ministers were replying to the questions, the speaker had to adjourn the House twice.

“If Parrikar feels that posts of Mayor and Deputy Mayor should be reserved for scheduled caste or scheduled tribe, then same criteria should also be applied to the post of Panaji MLA”, said Furtado.

The BJP camp had fielded Tony Rodrigues and Shubham Chodankar for both the posts.           

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