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Chopdekar, Kerkar to be elected Mayor, deputy unopposed

Panjim: As a result of the BJP-backed panel of the Corporation of the City of Panaji (CCP) deciding not to contest the Mayoral elections scheduled on March 14, first-time councillors Vithal Chopdekar and Asmita Kerkar are set to be elected unopposed as Mayor and Deputy Mayor of Panjim.A formal announcement is expected on Wednesday when the elections are to take place. Surendra Furtado and Lata Parekh from the Atanasion Monserrate-led panel were holding the post of Mayor and Deputy Mayor respectively since 2015.Speaking to Herald, Monserrate said, “I would like to see that our panel manifesto is implemented. I would also like to thank Siddarth Kuncaleinkar for lending his support to our candidates at the elections.”
He added, “All the councillors should work sincerely for the development of Panjim with everyone’s support.  We needed a change in Mayor’s post as one year is a long time. We have got a new person now and it is good that everyone has supported him.”Earlier it was speculated that Monserrate, would back BJP’s Pandurang Raut Dessai as the new Mayor, while the deputy Mayor’s post would be held by Kerkar.The BJP backed panel said it will not contest the elections claiming that it was a consensus decision. However, sources said the BJP was facing dissension within its ranks as senior councillor Menino D’Cruz was lobbying for the post and was also against the move of making first time councillor Dessai as Mayor.“The BJP led CCP panel will not contest for the post of Mayor. It is a consensus decision that is taken by the party along with all the councillors. If we were to contest our choice would have been Menino D’Cruz. Also we did not have the appropriate numbers as we are only 13,” former BJP Panjim MLA Kuncaleinkar said. [H]

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