PANAJI: It seems to be a poor choice for the electorate in Panaji who will vote on March 6 to elect councillors to the 30 wards of the capital city. Voters have to choose between candidates with history of crime, meagre education and not to mention, ample of affluence.
Information gathered from candidates’ affidavits reveals that of the 95 contestants in the fray, five have a criminal background, 61 have studied upto Class 12 or below and 19 are crorepatis. Gender composition of candidates is skewed with women poorly represented and making up for only 38 per cent of the total contestants.
All five candidates with criminal background were charged with serious offences relating to attempt to murder, voluntarily causing grievous hurt, criminal intimidation etc. Three of them belong to the Babush Monserrate-backed panel while the remaining two are from Congress- and BJP-supported panels, respectively.
Sandip Tukaram fielded by Congress-supported panel has the highest number of court cases (five) filed against him, followed by Uday Vaman Madkaikar (three) and Dayanand Karapurkar, Krishna Ramdas Shirodkar and Nelson Cabral with one case each against them in the past.
In terms of education, 16 candidates have not completed school education, 21 are Class 10 pass, 24 are with Class 12 certificates, 28 are graduates/ professionals and there is only one post graduate.
Top five in the list of crorepatis are Congress-supported Wendy Hazel D’Souza (Rs 6 crore), Lorraine Dias (Rs 5 crore), Manoj Patil (Rs 5 crore), Harish Vishnu Kunkolienkar (Rs 3 crore), Yatin Parekh (Rs 3 crore) and Gaurish Dhond (Rs 2 crore).
On the other hand, 24 candidates have not declared their income tax details while five have not declared their PAN details.
Candidates Dattaprasad Naik (BJP-backed), and Manoj Patil and Surendra Furtado (both supported by Monserrate panel) have the highest annual income as disclosed in their income tax returns.
The information of candidates’ background was announced on Thursday by NGO, Association of Democratic Rights (ADR). It is for the first time in CCP elections that candidates are submitting information on their criminal background and income, said Bhasker Assoldekar, who heads ADR-Goa. There are several first-time candidates and many of them are with origins outside the state, he said. Moreover, despite several candidates not including their immovable property under assets, there are many crorepatis, said Assoldekar.