With 92 candidates filing their papers on Monday the last date for doing so for the City Corporation of Panaji polls, the total number of candidates for the 30 seats has gone up to 163. However, the final tally will be known only 23rd February which is the last date to withdraw the nomination papers.
Education Minister Babush Monserrate and Leader of Opposition Manohar Parrikar who is also the Panjim MLA have fielded their own panels for the polls. The Nationalist Congress Party has fielded only 11 candidates even though it had announced that it would have 15 candidates.
The City Corporation of Panaji is currently run by Babush supporter group that had swept the last polls. Babush is aiming to repeat the feat through which he is seeking to challenge Manohar from Panjim at the next assembly elections.
For Manohar Parrikar too the elections are crucial and that he has taken them very seriously can be gauged from the fact that he has project Ashok Naik as his candidate for Mayor even though the two had fallen apart in the past. Ashok Naik has an impeccable reputation in the city and most people respect him for his integrity and honesty and this is expected to swing things in the BJP supporter panels way particularly since the CCP has been ridden with charges of corruption during the current term.
Babush has sought to make amends by refusing to support some of the corporators perceived to be corrupt.