The controversy over Sancoale'ssarpanch polls refuses to die down.
When contacted by TOI for a reaction to Ramakant Borkar being elected sarpanch, local MLA and minister for environment and forests Alina Saldanha raised the issue of a government servant being manhandled at the panchayat earlier in the week.
She expressed surprise that despite over 48 hours lapsing since the incident on Monday, no police complaint had been filed by the official, Mahesh Nadkarni, nor his boss, the panchayats director, in "a clear case of intimidation and assault on a government servant on duty".
"Video coverage of the incident on March 25 clearly shows that Nadkarni, on official duty to serve the adjournment notice, was manhandled and his mobile was snatched," Saldanha said. She added that the official was further forced to preside over a "so-called panchayat meeting" where Borkar was declared the sarpanch.
On Borkar winning Wednesday's election, Saldanha said she was perplexed "by the whole turn of events", as some members from the rival group had supported him.
Narayan Naik, a BJP worker, was voted out as sarpanch on January 1. Polls to elect a new sarpanch were subsequently delayed, including with a presiding officer not turning up. The election process finally started after the matter was taken to court.
"I am really surprised that Naik, a founder member of BJP's Cortalim constituency, was removed by some panchas who profess to be diehard BJP party-men," said Saldanha.
To make matters worse, she said, they have combined with members who are opposed to the BJP and its principles and "yet the BJP party hierarchy has turned a blind eye and a deaf ear to the destabilizing of a BJP panchayat in South Goa".
Saldanha said she is deeply worried for Sancoale's people and the consequences they will have to face because of Naik's ouster. She said there is a possibility of mega projects in the village being approved by the Mormugao PDA.
Borkar had contested the March 2012 assembly polls. [TOI]