Leadership consensus eludes MMC ruling panel

MARGAO: Eleven councillors of Margao Municipal Council (MMC) are yet to arrive at a consensus on the new leader for the council after the resignation of chairperson and ouster of vice-chairperson through a no-confidence motion recently. 

The councillors led by Mr Arthur D’Silva have April 16 as the last day to file nominations for the posts of chairperson and vice-chairperson. The director of municipal administration has fixed the election on April 17.
When asked, councillor, Mr Sadanand Naik said, “The councillors have 44 months over the next three and half years and whoever becomes the chairperson will get a tenure of 11 months each. However, the issue is who should be given the first chance to serve the council.”
He further said that the council also failed to decide on the vice-chairperson’s post and that the picture would become clearer by Sunday.
Other councillors include Ms Carmina Rodrigues, Mr Raju Naik, Ms Babita Naik, Ms Sangeeta Audi, Mr Dhananjay Mayekar, Mr Dayanand Deulkar, Ms Bindiya Naik, Ms Pratima Coutinho and Mr Avinash Shirodkar.
Mr Arthur D’Silva, claiming to have the support of the Chief Minister, Mr Manohar Parrikar said, “Though it is clear that Sadanand and I will have a tenure of 11-months, the decision on who should be given the post of chairperson first is yet to be decided. We also have to reach a consensus on the vice-chairperson’s post.”
While the tussle continues between Mr Arthur and Mr Sadanand, Mr Deulkar, speaking to this daily said that he is looking forward to the post of vice-chairperson but insisted that nothing has been finalised as yet.
Media reports claimed that BJP top brass like Mr Bhai Naik and Mr Sharmad Raiturkar were present for the councillors’ meeting. Clearing the air on the issue, Mr Bhai said, “We have strict orders from the Chief Minister to stay away from the council. The party rules also do not allow interference in municipality affairs. We distanced ourselves from the council almost 16 months ago and our involvement is a rumour.”
Former Fatorda MLA, Mr Damodar Naik pointed out that BJP has laid no conditions to councillors to join the party and as such has not involved them in any talks or chaired any meetings of the councillors.
Mr Sharmad Raiturkar and Mr Rupesh Mahatme, who contested election on the BJP ticket from Margao, also stated that they were not part of any deliberation on the MMC chairperson.
The rival panel of nine-members owing allegiance to Congress MLA, Mr Digambar Kamat and independent MLA, Mr Vijai Sardesai are former chairperson, Ms Sushila Naik, Ms Doris Texeira, Ms Rosy Pereira, Mr Laxmikant Kamat, Mr Damu Shirodkar, former deputy chairperson, Mr Gonzaco Rebello, Ms Bertha Cardozo, Mr Joseph  Silva and Mr Tito Cardozo.