Chief minister Manohar Parrikar maintained that the election of Panaji's mayor and deputy mayor was deferred to facilitate the amendment of the CCP Act, 2002.
Speaking to mediapersons following a brief adjournment of question hour, Parrikar said that the election of the mayor and deputy mayor has to be held during the first meeting of the calendar year.
He said that the provision in Section 22 of the CCP Act refers to the election of mayor and deputy mayor, saying: "The elected councilors of the corporation shall, at the first meeting of the corporation each year, elect from amongst themselves, a mayor and a deputy mayor".
He also said that the election will be held after the amendment, which will be moved in the ongoing assembly session while Vaidehi Naik will continue as mayor until a new person is elected. He also pointed out that there is no reservation for OBC and women in the CCP.
Parrikar stated that the reason for deferring election "was purely to rectify the mistake" which was repeated during the last two years. When asked why the amendment was not carried out earlier, and for the reason for waiting till the last minute until the election process was started, he said that the mistake came to the light came after complaints were filed .
He said that two-three complaints were received pointing out the folly, but the chief minister did not reveal the names of the complainants.
St Cruz MLA Atanasio (Babush) Monserrate, who was present during the adjournment following noises by opposition members, was later seen furiously talking to Parrikar. Monserrate was heard saying "We have seen your democratic process!"
The power equation in the CCP changed after independent corporator Surendra Furtado and wife Ruth Furtado switched sides. Both joined hands with the Atanasio Monserrate-supported panel, who had 14 corporators.
Surendra Furtado also filed his nomination to contest for the mayor's post, while earlier, he had extended support to BJP-supported panel comprising 12 corporators.
The BJP panel was able to wrestle the CCP from the Monserrate panel with 16 corporators after Tony Rodrigues and Carolina Po shifted their loyalties to the BJP-supported panel. The change occurred in March last year, after the BJP emerged victorious in the assembly election. Rodrigues was elected deputy mayor. [TOI]