As the Manohar Parrikar panel at the Corporation of the City of Panaji (CCP) is all set to complete a year in the ruling side, there is an atmosphere of uncertainty as to whether it would retain the power in the second year, and if it manages to do so, whether the Mayor, Ms Vaidehi Naik, would continue on the Chair.
The annual election for the post of Mayor is scheduled to be held on March 20, with the opposition panel – the Atanasio Monserrate panel – all set to give a tough fight to the ruling side.
Mr Surendra Furtado, who holds a key to the success of any one of the two panels, said that presently, both sides at the Corporation are tied at 14-14, and the result could go any way. “In fact, I have no objection, if each panel has its own Mayor,” he quipped.
It may be noted that Mr Furtado and his better half, Ms Ruth Furtado, a councillor herself, have both not announced their support to any panel yet. There are a total of 30 councillors at the CCP, who will vote to elect the new Mayor.
Speaking further, Mr Furtado said that he had supported Ms Naik and her panel with a hope that Panaji, his favorite city would undergo development under her leadership.
“However, I am totally disillusioned with her administration during the past one year,” he pointed out, refusing to divulge details about the Furtado votes.
The Mayor, on the other hand informed this daily that she is unaware about movements by the councilors in her panel to dislodge her from the top Corporation post.
“I have no idea about the deputy Mayor, Mr Tony Rodrigues, the Mala councilor, Mr Shubham Chodankar and Mr Surendra Furtado, all vying for the post of Mayor, as per the news reports from a certain section of press,” she added, pointing out that her panel will soon meet to decide the candidate for the post of the Mayor.
A couple of ruling side councilors however, said that they still support Ms Naik for the post of Mayor and the rumors as regards they being unhappy over her administration should not be taken seriously.
When asked if he is gearing up to be the next city Mayor, Mr Tony Rodrigues shrugging off his shoulders said, “No, no, I don’t want to talk about this topic.”
The former Mayor and the councilor in the opposition panel, Mr Yatin Parekh informed that the Monserrate panel would definitely contest the election for the post of the Mayor. “We don’t want to give them a walkover,” he added, pointing out that a meeting of his panel would decide on the candidate for the post of the Mayor.
Interestingly, during the tenure of Ms Naik as the city Mayor, a prestigious project namely redevelopment of the EDC – Patto Plaza area was completed and inaugurated. The government has also announced Rs 100 crore funds for implementing the holistic design of infrastructure for the capital city, during her tenure, which is expected to give facelift to the city.
Meanwhile, a senior citizen encapsulating the entire scenario in a sentence said that the city MLA and the Chief Minister, Mr Manohar Parrikar will somehow find a way to ensure his panel’s success at the March 20 election.
“Had he been in the opposition, then the situation would have been different,” the Octogenarian Panjimite observed. [NT]