Lots favour Khot panel twice, women to rule also Canacona

AJIT PAINGINKAR, CANACONA | 05 November 2015 15:26 IST

Canacona municipal elections of chairperson and vice chairperson turned out to be the most interesting one.

After a tie, the lots went into the favour of the same panel, making sports minister Ramesh Tawadkar losing hold over Canacona municipal council.

Prarthana Gaonkar and Sumita Dhuri were elected the chairperson and vice chairperson respectively, both belonging to the panel led by former BJP MLA Vijay Pai Khot.

In a 10-memebr council, Khot’s panel had won five seats, one less to simple majority.

Tawadkar’s BJP-supported panel could win only four wards, leaving one to the independent, whom Khot could not manage.

In order to avoid horse trading, Khot however lifted all his five councillors outside Goa, to return only to fill the forms for the elections of chairperson and vice chairperson.

Tawadkar, on the other hand, filled forms of Nitu Desai for chairperson and Dayanand Pagi for the post of vice chairperson.

When returning officer Santosh Kundaikar went for a secret ballot, it was a tie of 5-5, for both the posts.

Kundaikar, also the deputy director of panchayats, first called one old person to pick up the lots. It went in favour of Prarthana Gaonkar.

For the second time, he called an old lady and again it went in favour of Sumita Dhuri, the Khot-supported candidate.

Following Margao, Canacona is the second council where both the posts have been conquered by women.

With this, Khot has managed to win two battles till now – the councillors’ election and then the elections of the heads.

But will he be able to retain the councillors till Assembly elections when the BJP is ruling and Khot himself is planning to contest the Assembly poll?

Well, it may all depend upon how desperate Tawadkar is and how loyal the five councillors remain to Khot.

But certainly the Canacona council would not be a smooth pitch to play the game. It’s expected to be a battlefield every day…

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