GoaChronicle.com brings to you the truth behind the altercation between the Former Congress Sports Minister Manohar (Babu) Azgaonkar and current Margao Municipal Council, vice-chairperson Pratima Coutinho. While the people have voted the corrupt Congress out, their old habits refuse to die…
Though it appears that the reaction of the former Sports Minister of the Congress-led government Manohar (Babu) Azgaonkar to Margao Municipal Council (MMC) vice-chairperson Pratima Coutinho action against illegal encroachments under his patronage was on the spur of the moment.
Goa Chronicle.com investigations into the matter reveal that the former minister ire against MMC vice-chairperson is because she refused to sign a document to cover-up an illegality regarding a space occupied by Ms Megha Azgaonkar (wife of the Former Sports Minister) at the MG Market.
In a letter dated 25/04/2012 – No (MMC/TAX/MGM – 5 (A), the Chief Officer of MMC, JB Bhingui has addressed a letter to the Ms Megha Azgaonkar that her application requesting permission to repair the stall and to include additional space has been rejected by the Office.
The letter also states, “It is informed that you were permitted to fix the rolling shutter to spaces occupied by you in the MG Market to convert spaces into wooden stall on condition that the area of the occupation should not be increased and you shall not keep any goods, materials outside the stall. It is also informed that the present size of the stall, after fixing the rolling shutter is more than the permitted size. And also the occupation of additional space at the northern side of the stall for dumping purpose is illegal. Further you are hereby directed to maintain the size of the stall as per the permission issued to you vide this Office Letter No: MMC/TAX/MGM-5(A)/560 dated 08/07/2009.”
Though the MMC Chief Officer has rejected the request after a meeting held on 04/04/2012 by the MMC Councillors; sources in the MMC have revealed that Azgaonkar has been persistently visiting the MMC and urging the vice-chairperson to clear the file.
When GoaChronicle.com spoke to Pratima Coutinho on the issue, while not divulging much details on the issue she however mentioned that the former minister has indeed been persistent in his attempts to persuade her to clear his file and grant permission to his request. However, due to the deemed illegality in the issue wherein Ms Megha Azgaonkar has extended the space original alloted to her, she refuses to sign on this demand since it is not legal and is in violations of the set guidelines.”
She further commented on the issue that happened at the Gandhi market wherein Azgaonkar and 50 illegal vendors accosted and heckled her during her inspection, that her job at MMC vice-chairperson is to keep illegal encroachers in-check in the interest of the people visiting the marketplace.
Sources at the site of the incident informed that Azgaonkar has warned and threatened Coutinho that within seven days, he along with the vendors will lead a morcha to the MMC in protest of the removal of the illegal encroachers.
While clearing the file appears to be the main grudge of Azgaonkar at the moment and the reason behind the pressure being put on the MMC vice-chairperson, what is also coming to fore and appears to be the worrying factor for him as expressed by some of close aides, is the large-number of illegal encroachers that are under the patronage of the former Congress minister including the former Chief Minister Digambar Kamat; which could be a serious concern if MMC or the BJP-led government investigates into the number of illegal migrants supported by him.