Stung by the government's decision to postpone the election for the post of mayor and deputy mayor, the leader of the rival group, Atanasio (Babush) Monserrate, accompanied by 16 councillors and some MLAs, sought the intervention of the governor to restore democracy in the corporation.
In a memorandum submitted to the governor at Raj Bhavan, the 16 councillors also urged the governor to initiate necessary action against the government for derailing the election process.
"We are 16 councillors in the 30-member corporation and as such constitute clear majority," they said, alleging that the "illegal acts of the commissioner" appear to be clearly at the behest of the chief minister and MLA of Panaji, which are entirely directed to ensure that the democratic institutions as envisaged under the 74th Amendment of the Constitution, are throttled.
Explaining the developments, they said that the elections to the two posts were slated for Wednesday at 10 am, and accordingly, all undersigned 16 corporators remained present at the corporation hall at Panaji. They said that upon reaching the hall, "we observed that all arrangements, including putting up of voting compartments, was complete, and we waited for the commissioner to come." They further said in the memorandum: "But to our utter shock and surprise, a notice came to be circulated dated 20/03/2013, stating therein that the elections to the post of Mayor are deferred."
A visibly livid Surendra Furtado, whose dream of becoming the mayor now appears to be in tatters, termed Parrikar's move as "murder, rape and molestation of democracy." "The BJP is full of chicaneries," said Furtado, while referring to the incident when then MLA Felipe Neri Rodrigues was physically lifted from the assembly to enable a BJP vote of confidence. Furtado questioned how the councillors were not informed in advance of the DMA notice. He lashed out at the CCP commissioner who he accused of being pliable.
Furtado also asked why the elections had not been postponed last year, when he had extended support to the BJP panel.
Fatorda MLA Vijai Sardesai said that it was "shameful that Parrikar had murdered democracy in his own constituency." He said "the 74 constitutional amendment that gave powers to local self governing bodies had been decimated."
Attempting to expose Parrikar's hypocrisy, Monserrate further said that when Parrikar had won last year's assembly polls, he had said that he had a majority and nobody should try to destabilise his government, but Parrikar cancelled the CCP elections when Monserrate's panel had a clear majority. [TOI]