Mon, 18 Nov, 2019

ROW OVER DR SEQUEIRA’S STATUE: BABITA QUITS

Questions raised over BJP-Congress combine joining hands to form next Council ,Goa Forward hopes to retain power, zeroes down on new consensus candidate

09th November 2019, 02:47 Hrs

the goan I network

MARGAO

Goa  Forward party’s four-year rule in the Margao Municipal Council finally  ended on Friday with party-backed Chairperson Babita Prabhudesai  resigning from the post.

The moot questions, however, remains  unanswered – whether the BJP-Congress combine will join hands to form  the next Council till the civic body goes to the municipal polls in  October 2020 or will the Goa Forward pull of a surprise and continue its  stranglehold over the 25-member civic body.

On paper, the odds  appeared loaded heavily against the Goa Forward with the party’s number  in the 25-member body reduced to 11 – two short of a simple majority.  The Goa Forward had 12 councillors in the civic body, but was later  reduced to 11 after one of it’s councillors Clara Fernandes joined the  opposition group. On the other hand, the BJP and Opposition  leader-Digambar Kamat’s group of councillors together with councillor  Clara Fernandes seemed to have 14 on their side, a factor that weighed  heavily on the opposition mind when they threatened to move a  no-confidence motion against Chairperson Babita Prabhudesai.

Goa  Forward leadership in private, however, say that all is not lost in the  Margao civic body and the haste with which party chief Vijai Sardesai  made a counter move on Friday noon to get Babita tender her resignation  is aimed at not only maintaining the flock, but woo councillors from the  opposition camp to attain the magic figure of 13 in the 25-member civic  body.

It may be recalled that when a group of Goa Forward  councillors had requested Sardesai to effect a change in guard a couple  of months ago, it was agreed by the party chief as well as the  party-backed councillors to nominate young councillor Pooja Naik for the  coveted post.

Hailing from the Bahujan Samaj, sources said that  Pooja had emerged as the consensus choice, with her candidature not only  receiving the backing of the 11-member GF councillors, but also from  one or two councillors, who are presently part of the opposition group.

With  Babita quitting 

the post, the Goa Forward leadership is expected to  approach the group of opposition councillors, who had in the past  committed to support to Pooja’s candidature.

That the Goa Forward  party has not given up hopes in retaining power at the Margao Municipal  Council became evident when Babita said the party will prove the numbers  at the right time. When pointed out that Goa Forward’s number in the  Council has come down to 11, two less to retain power, Babita shot back  saying “only time will prove whether we have the numbers or not”.

Sources  in the Goa Forward said party chief Vijai Sardesai is expected to have a  meeting with the party-backed councillors before formally proposing the  name of Pooja Naik as the party candidate for the post of MMC chief.