Goa Pradesh Congress Committee General Secretary Vijay Sardessai announced that the councillors backed by him would not ask for any positions at the Margao Municipal Council and confessed in the same breath that this was all done with eyes on the ensuing Assembly elections scheduled about a year-and-a half later.
Speaking to media persons on Saturday Vijay disclosed that he had struck a deal with Chief Minister Digambar Kamat who is also representing Margao in the Legislative Assembly that in return for not asking any positions in the council, the Fatorda assembly segment should be given a special package, which he said the Chief Minister had agreed to.
Five councillors – Gonzaco Rebello, Bertha Cardozo, Jose D’Silva, Sadanand Naik and his wife Babita Naik – have publicly acknowledged that they had Vijay’s support. Besides, there are more, hinted Vijay.
Replying to a question, he was candid enough to admit that the present arrangement was till the Assembly elections so that his chances could be improved. “If we deliver the promises before the assembly elections, then definitely the people will vote for us,” he said.
He shrugged his shoulders when asked whether there would be stability in the council for its entire term or whether it would be stable only till the time the Assembly elections are held.
While coming down heavily on the functioning of the Margao Municipal Council, he opined that the Chief Minister might not have got the desired co-operation from those ruling the roost there earlier. “The administration in the municipality has collapsed and Margao Municipal Council has gone to dogs,” he said while pointing out that it takes a week for file to move from one desk to another.
Vijay disclosed that the Chief Minister had agreed to provide a package of ` 25 crore to be spent in Fatorda assembly segment over the next one year. He said these funds would be used to desilt and improve the nallah at Maddel and also complete the by-pass which has been languishing for years now.
However, he had no clue as to where this money would come from. “The Chief Minister who is also the Finance Minister has promised and he will deliver,” he said.
Vijay made a very strong demand that no more agricultural land from Fatorda constituency should be acquired by the government and further demanded that kith and kin of those who have lost land should be provided jobs in projects coming up on those lands. He said the Chief Minister had agreed to this demand and also took a dig at Damu Naik by claiming that most of the land from Fatorda constituency was acquired during the regime of the BJP led government in Goa.
In order to provide employment opportunities to the locals from Fatorda Assembly constituency he also demanded that private parties should not be given any contract of managing the district hospital coming up there. “Fatorda constituency has been neglected as far as government jobs are concerned and therefore I have demanded that locals from here have to be given priority in all the new establishments of the Government coming up in this constituency,” he said.
Vijay also announced that parks titled “nana-nani parks” would be set up near Don Bosco and at Dongorwado and also promised that all open spaces will be protected henceforth.
He also demanded that when the New Year dawns, at least the tender for setting up effluent treatment plant at the SGPDA market should be floated and expressed confidence that it would be done, once again because the Chief Minister had promised him so.
Besides, his proposal for door to door collection of garbage and installing more and proper garbage bins in the Fatorda constituency has also been agreed to by the Chief Minister, he said.