Panaji: BJP has reneged on Late Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar’s promise on the floor of the Assembly to amend the law to put the State Election Commission in charge of the Delimitation and Reservation of Constituencies and declaring it well in advance said GPCC president Girish Chodankar on reservation of ZP constituencies.
“Instead of the rotation-based system mandated by the Constitution of India and relevant Rules of the Government of Goa, they are cherrypicking constituencies for making it reserved. This makes a mockery of democratic process and Goan voters’ right to a free and fair election. We strongly condemn this act of BJP Government and reject the manipulated reservation notification issued today,” he said.
We at Congress have been demanding with the ruling party make good on their promise for several months. Our fears regarding their intent to manipulate the elections have been vitiated. What we can expect from government formed on immoral means chodankar Questioned ?
There is no transparent criteria or replicable procedure that they have followed to determine the reserved constituencies. Eschewing the usual rotation system, they are cherrypicking constituencies for their partisan political advantage.
The BJP, which are in the moral minority, have misused the exercise to reserve 30 out of 50 constituencies, leaving only 20 to be fought by the general category. This enlarges the scope of the mass rigging of electoral outcomes. Political parties have not been given time to prepare, giving BJP and its allies an advantage.
Congress strongholds constituencies to name a few, like Benaulim, Vellim , Colva and Calangute have been reserved for OBC candidates after knowing our candidates. Curtorim where our PCC secretary is seating ZP has been reserved for Women. In Nuvem they have made ST but women-ST. In Salcete alone they have reserved 6 out of 9 ZP constituencies. In Aldona, Taleigao and Penha de Franca have been reserved for Women OBCs. Pale has been deliberately designated as a ST seat to make it easy for the CM to get his candidate elected. Yet Davorlim has been an open general seat for the past two elections. On the other hand, seats like Poinguinim, Siolim, Corlim & St. Lawrence have been reserved for both ZP elections of 2015 & 2020. This proves that the system is rigged with the intent to debar winning candidates fielded by the Opposition.
If the elections are not to be fairly conducted and no level playing field, it would be far better for this dictatorial government to stop paying lip service to democracy. Instead they should admit that they are holding a selection and nominate their ZP members. This would at least alleviate the burden on taxpayers, who are already grappling with a severely mismanaged economy and dispense with the need of engaging hundreds of government personnel and the Model Code of Conduct halting developmental work. If they cannot hold free and fair elections, the BJP should stop the farce and formalities of conducting severely compromised elections altogether and directly go for nominations instead asserted Chodankar.
We, the Goa Pradesh Congress Committee, reiterate our strong support for reservations in elections to ensure adequate representation for the historically most marginalised communities but should be done on transparent process well in advance. However, today we are compelled to expose the BJP’s blatant gerrymandering of elections and we oppose it tooth and nail.
While replying to a question of a reporter, Chodankar said that a special GPCC Executive Committee Meeting would be called to decide the future course on the manipulation of the reservation notification and the CLP’s decision however he asserted that our target and focused is to support the angry people of Goa to defeat the BJP’s candidates.