16 CCP councillors approach court
All 16 councillors of corporation of city of Panaji (CCP) owing allegiance to St Cruz MLA Atanasio 'Babush' Monserrate on Friday approached the high court of Bombay at Goa, seeking a direction to the government to fix a fresh date for the election to the post of Panaji mayor and deputy mayor.
Surendra Furtado, an aspirant for the post of mayor in the 30 member corporation, and others have alleged that the BJP-led government cancelled the meeting convened on March 20 though the CCP Act does not confer or contemplate power on the government to postpone such a meeting. The petition alleges that the party in power has done this "to arm twist and thwart the democratic process of holding elections to the CCP". Alleging that the intention of the government is mala fide, as the postponement has been done to examine the matter of reservation to the posts, the petitioners have stated that, "at no point of time, the councillors of the CCP were made aware or called upon to give their views on a claim that there were representations for reservation to the post of mayor/deputy mayor in the corporation and that the government was considering the same and had any intentions to consider the reservations".
The petitioners have also pointed out that as a matter of fact there is no reservation for the persons belonging to ST and SC in the seats which are filled in by the election to CCP. "The question therefore of postponing the election to the post of mayor and deputy mayor on the purported plea of considering alleged representation for reservation is mala fide," the petition says
The petitioners have also sought a direction to the government to restrain current mayor Vaidehi Naik and deputy mayor Tony Fernandes from performing their duties as their term had ended.
On Wednesday, minutes before the election to the posts of mayor and deputy mayor were to take place, CCP councillors were informed that the government had postponed the election as it had received some representations raising issues that had to be examined. The opposition panel that was endorsed by St Cruz MLA Atanasio 'Babush' Monserrate, and fielded Furtado as its candidate for mayor, was set to win the election as it had the support of 16 councillors in the house of 30. [TOI]