Current Affairs

Cong MLA backs BJP’s candidate for Panjim Mayor

In a strange and questionable show of support from Congress to BJP in Goa, BJP-backed councillor of Corporation of the City of Panaji (CCP) Vaidehi Naik is tipped to be the new mayor and either Bento Lorena or Kabir Makhija, from the panel backed by Congress St Cruz MLA Atanasio ‘Babush’ Monserrate (who was also the former Education Minister in the Congress-led government), to be her deputy after both camps worked out a compromise over the corporation’s leadership issue.

Naik, who is a first time councillor, will take over from Yatin Parekh who tendered his resignation a few days back.

This is also a new twist to the whole issue after Monserrate had announced Rudresh Chodankar for the post of mayor and Bento Lorena as his deputy, after a meeting at his residence on March 15.

Former mayor Tony Rodrigues, who was in Monserrate’s panel, had also announced that he would contest the elections on March 20 for the mayor’s post. Rodrigues had lost favour with Monserrate, who had suspected him of having worked against his wife, Jennifer Monserrate in Taleigao. But Rodrigues had denied it. On Sunday, Rodrigues maintained that he will contest the mayor’s poll, but declined to comment further.

Monserrate’s panel had won 16 seats and the BJP 12 seats while the two remaining ones were won by husband-wife independent duo of Surendra and Ruth Furtado in the March 2011 elections to the 30-ward council.

Interestingly, Yatin Parekh was formally elected mayor of Panaji while Rudresh Chodankar was voted as deputy mayor on March 23, 2011. Parekh and Chodankar had received 16 votes as against 12 received by their counterparts, Vaidehi Naik and Shubham Chodankar of the BJP panel. Both independent councillors had abstained from voting.

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