Current Affairs

Cash-for-Votes Allegations shroud MMC Vice-Chairperson Election

Municipal Councillors Gonzaco Rebello and Doris Teixeira alleged that money had been distributed immediately after the result of the election held on Tuesday was declared in which Bertha Cardozo was elected as the vice-chairperson of Margao Municipal Council.

MMC councillor Dadi Mayenkar contested the election against Cardozo at the MMC hall. The election was presided over by Salcete sub-divisional magistrate Surendra Naik in the presence of MMC chief officer Sandhya Kamat.

Naik stated that the ballot papers had been prepared and the voting process was explained to all the 20 councilors present and that after counting of all the votes, Cardozo won the elections as she had secured 12 votes as opposed to Mayenkar’s eight.

A jubilant Cardozo flanked by former vice-chairperson Pratima Coutinho and 10 other councillors spoke about how she would take over as the MMC market committee in-charge. Cardozo said she would follow in the footsteps of Coutinho who was famous for her firm stance against encroachments and that that she would do her best to serve the people.

What followed, dampened the mood. As the 12 councillors were addressing mediapersons, Rebello began loudly alleging in the council hall that the councillors who had accepted money for votes were standing among the 12. Teixeira and Rebello walked away and into the council chambers in a huff and attempts by Cardozo to calm the duo were in vain. Sources pointed out that before the election, 15 councillors were to vote against Mayenkar who was backed by MMC chairperson Arthur D’Silva and the fact that only 12 councillors voted for Cardozo raised doubts of cross-voting.

Addressing mediapersons regarding the issue, Cardozo denied any charge about money being distributed and said that there was no truth in these allegations. She reiterated that on a personal note, she was “not interested in money and was only working toward development”. Mayenkar on the other hand, expressed his disappointment as he said that Anil Hoble, president of the Bhandari Samaj, had personally appealed to the other councillors to back him. However, he said that him winning eight votes was a success in itself.

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