MARGAO: The two out of three wards—ward no. 6, 9 and 10—of the Old Market-Borda cluster of Margao Municipal Council (MMC) offered councillors—Dr Babita Prabhudessai and Pooja Naik—who officiated as chairpersons of the just dissolved council but neither of them are likely to contest in the upcoming elections.
Obvious for former chairperson Dr Babita Prabhudessai, who was elected from ward No. 6, as that ward is reserved for OBC this time and she does not qualify to contest from the ward. “I think I should concentrate on my profession now,” she said when asked why she was not contesting.
Given the fact that the Margao Municipal Council elections will be contested jointly by the Goa Forward Party and the Congress against the BJP, Goa Forward candidate is expected to be contesting from this ward.
The BJP has already announced that former councilor Sadanand Naik will be its candidate from ward No. 6 and everybody is waiting for GFP chief Vijai Sardessai to announce his candidate. If sources to be believed, Pravin Jana Naik will be the candidate as he has been a long time supporter of Vijai.
The main issue faced by this ward is the Sonsodo garbage dump site as its leachate very often flows down to the ward through the gutters, especially during the monsoons and this problem is not addressed all through these years.
Another former chairperson Pooja Naik represented ward no. 9 last time. Incidentally last time this ward was reserved for OBC woman and that is why apparently Pooja was fielded at the recommendation of Ravindra Naik who has a lot of hold in the ward. This time the murmur is getting louder that as this time is not reserved for anybody Ravindra himself will contest from there. “I shall do what Vijai decides, if he asks me to contest I shall contest, if he says not to contest I shall not contest,” she said.
However, Ravindra is tight-lipped about his plans. He says that it is for the local MLA meaning Vijai to decide. The BJP is still not decided upon who will be its candidate from this ward.
Ward No. 10 is the Old Market area which is the heritage zone of Margao as nearly 50 per cent of the ward comes under conservation zone and there were plans to make it the heritage site. This ward is represented by Glenn Andrade who says he will contest again and it is learnt that even Vijai Sardessai has given him the nod to recontest and he has already started canvassing in the area. He is determined to change the look of the Tinto and lamented that though the plans were prepared they could not be implemented as Vijai was no longer a minister in the government.
Glenn admitted that the old Camara or municipal building also needs to be retouched and restored. “However, that building belongs to a private party and therein lies a problem,” he said while disclosing that the owners are not willing to handover the property to the government for restoration.
Ramdas Hazare who had lost last time to Glenn is likely to be contest again but whether he will be an independent candidate or BJP-fielded candidate it is not clear as yet. Incidentally, Ramdas was elected earlier in 2005 as a councillor from this ward. He could not contest the next elections as the ward was reserved for ladies and last time he lost to Glenn.