COLVA: Johnson Coelho was elected as the new sarpanch by a 5-0 voting margin amidst plenty of dramatics enacted by the four-member opposition group of the nine-member Sernabatim-Vanelim-Colva-Gaundalim village panchayat during the elections on Thursday morning.
NCP MLA Churchill Alemao-supported candidate Pio Furtado was unwell and absent for the entire election process but did not withdraw. Out of the nine panchayat members, six voted while three abstained with one vote being declared as invalid by the presiding officer Maya Nagarshekhar as he voted for both the candidates.
“There was high drama during the election process as the opposition were trying to sabotage the election process repeatedly by raising unnecessary points. But the returning officer stood firm and started the election process following all the procedures,” said Former Colva sarpanch Anthony ‘Mam’ Fernandes.
“The COVID SOPs were not maintained during the Colva sarpanch election process as the gazetted officer should first ask the panchayat members for their respective COVID negative certificate. They never asked us nor did they sanitise the premises and the polling material being utilised. The presiding officer or panchayat secretary has to check if it was done,” said Menino.