With just one nomination each having been received by the returning officer at the end of the deadline set for filing of nominations, stage has been set for unopposed election of Vithal Dayanand Chopdekar and Asmita Kerkar as mayor and deputy mayor respectively of the Corporation of the City of Panaji.
Both the candidates for the top two positions of the only city corporation in the state belong to the ruling group, which has strength of 15 members, and is led by former Taleigao legislator Atanasio ‘Babush’ Monserrate.
The Opposition Bharatiya Janata Party group having 13 members did not field any candidate to oppose the ruling side.
Returning officer Pradeep A Mirajkar said that only two nominations – one each for the posts of mayor and deputy mayor – were received by him till 4 pm on March 13, the closing time to accept the
A formal announcement of the election of both the candidates unopposed is expected to be announced on Wednesday morning, he said adding that related procedure would be completed by the CCP commissioner Ajit Roy before the announcement.
Chopdekar said that his priority would be to clean the drains before the onset of monsoon, adding that other priorities would be to deal with garbage and pay parking issues.
The CCP would thereafter pay attention towards development of the city and also make it clean and green, and that files that have been pending would be cleared on priority, he said.
Admitting that he had no experience in running the administration of the CCP, Chopdekar said that he would gain it in due course after assuming the duties of mayor.
He said that he would also work for the betterment of people of Panaji, adding that the CCP failed to carry out development during the tenure of outgoing mayor Surendra Furtado, as many wards were neglected.
Monserrate told media persons that he would ensure that the manifesto released by him during the last elections was implemented in toto.
He thanked former Panaji MLA Siddharth Kunkolienkar for not opposing the candidatures of Chopdekar and Kerkar.
Monserrate urged the corporators to work together sincerely for the development of Panaji and seek support of all, reiterating that he had to change the mayor in the interest of the city.
“Now we have got a new person and it is good that everyone has supported him,” he stated.
Kunkolienkar said that his party and the ruling group in the CCP had arrived at a consensus on the candidature of Chopdekar as mayor and Kerkar as deputy mayor.
The outgoing mayor, however, refused to comment on the development in the CCP.