The All Goa Councillors Forum and the People’s Choice from Margao decided to move the courts challenging the procedure adopted by the government to reserve seats for women, ST and OBC for the ensuing civic polls in Goa.
Charges of the reservation being done to suit political compulsions have come from practically all the municipal council including Cuncolim which is represented by Urban Development Minister Joaquim Alemao.
However, the most agitated are the citizens of Margao, Mormugao and Mapusa municipal councils. At Margao, as highlighted by Goa Chronicle on Saturday, reservation of seats has apparently been done to suit the candidates proposed by Chief Minister Digambar Kamat and Goa Pradesh Congress Committee General Secretary Vijay Sardessai.
People’s Choice from Margao said that in ward No. 4 which is reserved for women ST candidates, there are only 150 voters belonging to the ST communities. Similarly the logic of reserving ward No. 3 for ST community even though it was reserved for women at the last elections has also been questioned.
At Vasco, Revenue Minister Jose Philip D’Souza is accused of ensuring that Ward No. 18 is reserved for OBC only to help his supporter Babu Nanoskar. Ward No. 18 is currently represented by Carlos Almeida who is also President of All Goa Councillors’ Forum.
“I knew this would happen and therefore had started building contacts in ward No. 17,” said Carlos Almeida while castigating the local MLA for stooping to such low levels.
Jose Philip who already has an ongoing battle with Goa Pradesh Youth Congress President Sankalp Amonkar has now irked Congress’ Minority Committee President Saifullah Khan by reserving the ward represented by him for OBC.
Saifullah Khan had inkling that the ward No. 10 currently represented by him would be reserved for women and therefore had started his mother’s candidature. However, by reserving that ward for OBC, their hopes have been dashed to grounds.
Meanwhile, the Association of Christian Other Backward Class of Goa has condemned the reservation policy which it said was in total violation of the procedure laid down by law. Its General Secretary Andrew D’Cunha said that though ward Nos. 3 and 7 of Mormugao Municipality have very few ST voters, these wards are reserved for them and ironically wards where ST community are in large numbers like ward Nos. 12 and 13 have been reserved for OBC.