Goa Forward Party President Vijai Sardesai came down heavily on the sequence of events in the Curchorem-Cacora Municipal Council today and said that it was a total ‘murder of democracy’. He said that it only confirmed what he has been saying over the last so many months that this BJP Government does not believe in democratic principles. He added that whatever happened today also exposed Nilesh Cabral’s claims of winning the Curchorem-Cacora Municipal Council elections as empty bluster with no substance.
Today, in what was seen as a resounding ‘slap in the face’ for the State Power & Environment Minister, his nominee for the Chairperson’s post, Curchorem BJP Mandal President Vishwas Sawant was defeated by Balkrishna Hodarkar, who Cabral had earlier claimed to be one of his winning councillors. Cabral had, earlier in the day, reportedly said ‘Everyone is independent to contest. Our panel has decided to support the candidature of Sawant but since Hodarkar is contesting let’s see who wins’. But once the result was announced, he lost his cool and reportedly lambasted all 9 councillors who profess allegiance to the BJP-backed panel. Cabral also forced them to sign a no-confidence motion and submit it today itself to the Director of Municipal Administration.
Sardesai said ‘This action of the Minister has put paid to the BJP’s pretence of belief in democratic principles. He should explain to the people of Goa why he forced the 9 councillors to sign a motion of no confidence when the newly elected Chairperson had not even taken charge. The lack of confidence should, if acceptable, should be in his performance as Chairperson and in a situation where he has not even started working, Cabral’s dadagiri cannot be accepted. The GFP demands that this motion of no confidence should be immediately rejected by the DMA and Hodarkar’s election be notified without any delay. It is shameful that Hodarkar has not been allowed to take charge as Chairperson of Curchorem-Cacora Municipal Council while all other elected Chairpersons have done so. GFP wants the truth to come out and people should know how this Sawantwadi Government works to ensure that no justice is available to whoever opposes it’.
‘Nilesh Cabral should devote more time to his duties as a Minister rather than spend it on bringing down lawfully elected municipal chairpersons. He should, first and foremost, stop his desperate efforts to make Goa a coal hub and concentrate on delivering a people-centred Coastal Zone Management Plan for Goa. Elected councillors should and can decide to elect whoever they want as Chairperson and the Minister has no right to interfere in the functioning of the lawfully elected local self-governing bodies’, the GFP President concluded.