Mon, 27 May, 2019

Vasco MLA, Mormugao Council chairperson get into verbal duel

Carlos backs no-confidence motion against Gaonkar; BJP-backed groups in tussle

27th April 2020, 02:01 Hrs

the goan I network

VASCO

Vasco MLA Carlos Almeida and Mormugao Municipal Council (MMC) Chairperson Kritesh Gaonkar sparred with each other on Friday and further widened the rift among the two BJP-backed groups in the council, a day after a no-confidence motion was filed against Gaonkar and MMC Vice Chairperson Shashikant Parab.  

Almeida said it was a good thing that MMC councillors had moved a no-confidence motion against Gaonkar and Parab. “I have always been clear with my thoughts and I had also made direct allegations earlier that Gaonkar is involved in corruption, but he has not countered my allegations,” said Almeida.  

“Not only him, there are many other councillors also involved in corruption. Two councillors had taken money from a giant wheel contractor during Saptah.”  

“One councillor even demanded money for dresses during the centenary celebrations from handcarts and fruit vendors who are extremely poor, leaving me to wonder if this councillor did not even have money to buy dresses,” alleged the Vasco MLA, while daring the councillors to counter his allegations.  

Accusing Gaonkar of corruption, Almeida said: “Gaonkar had taken money to give a teacher’s job when he was chairman of a school committee. Let his say no and I will come out with proof.”   

When contacted, Gaonkar rejected Almeida’s allegations and said it was sad that an elected BJP MLA could stoop to cheap levels to malign the image of his opposition.   

“Vasco MLA Carlos Almeida must first enquire into corruption that he had done, before pointing fingers to others,” hit back Gaonkar.  

“I have been a part of this council for over three years and served as chairperson since the last seven months. Entire Vasco knows that the panel backed by Almeida did absolutely nothing in the three years that they were ruling and we have done so much development works in the last six months.”  

Gaonkar claimed his group of councillors had got projects worth Rs 12 crore, while Rs 8 crore for development funds were in the MMC account.   

“We have cut down on encroachments and cleared many pending projects. Almeida has not done any development and he cannot see the development taken by us and hence he has got this no-confidence motion,” said the MMC chairperson.  

“Before he accuses me of corruption, he must explain the corruption while staff were being recruited at MMC. All the staff recruited by his panel was purely on the basis of money and not 

on merit.”   

Responding to Almeida’s allegation of having taken money to recruit a teacher, Gaonkar said, “These allegations are because I did not recruit his candidate as teacher.”  

“He had sent a candidate to me but I refused to recruit the person, since a teacher responsible for imparting education has to be well qualified and cannot be recruited based on money and without educational qualifications.”