Refusing to stay the ongoing zilla panchayat election process, the High Court of Bombay at Goa on Tuesday said the ZP poll results of the Usgao-Ganje, Guirdolim and Colva constituencies are subject to outcome of petitions filed before the HC. Petitioners’ pleas have challenged the
constitutional validity of power vested in the government to reserve the ZP constituencies of Usgao-Ganje, Guirdolim and Colva.
The reservation of ZP segments has dashed the hopes of some local politicians including former two-time South Goa ZP chairperson Nelly Rodrigues, a satrap in the Colva ZP segment.
The Colva ZP constituency has been reserved for women belonging to other backward classes, leaving Rodrigues with no option but to opt out of the polls.
The Guirdolim constituency has been reserved for women. The grievance here is that the segment has been reserved for women for the third consecutive term, upsetting BJP MLA Clafasio Dias who has threatened to resign from the party.
The Usgao-Ganje constituency has been reserved for scheduled tribes.
It has been alleged that the government has reserved their strongholds so as to clear the way for ruling party nominees.
It has also been alleged that the state election commission did not have a role in reserving the constituencies for women and OBCs, and that it is the state government’s notification which reserved the constituencies giving advantage to the ruling party.
There are 50 ZP seats in both the districts of the state; of which 30 have been reserved for women, scheduled tribes, scheduled castes and OBCs.