After losing PMC deputy chief post, BJP ‘poaches’ MGP councillor

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Ponda: Soon after party-backed candidate lost election to the post of vice chairperson of Ponda Municipal Council (PMC), Ponda BJP has now brought a MGP-backed councillor Yatish Sawkar into its fold and stated that action will be taken against the BJP-backed councillors, who allegedly resorted to cross-voting in the election.

Ponda BJP president Shantaram Kolvekar made this announcement on Saturday by holding a press conference.

It may be noted that on Friday, MGP-backed councillor Amina Naik became the vice-chairperson of PMC by defeating BJP-backed candidate Anand Naik with 8-7 votes in the 15-member council. Irked over this development, Ponda BJP announced the induction of Sawkar into BJP.

Kolvekar stated that during the election to the post of vice chairperson, Sawkar had assured his support to the BJP-backed candidate and hence, the candidate would have secured nine votes. However, two candidates cross-voted at the last moment, resulting in the defeat of the BJP-backed councillor.

“We have doubt on two councillors who cross-voted and action will be initiated against them by the party,” Kolvekar said. When asked about the names of the two councillors who cross-voted, Kolvekar stated that since the voting was done through ballot system, it would not be appropriate to disclose the names.

With the induction of Sawkar, the BJP-backed panel in the civic body claims it has strength of nine councillors against six backed by MGP. However, in the backdrop of the latest development, a political expert opined that with two cross-voting, BJP still needs the backing of one more councillor to be in the majority.

It should be noted that former vice chairperson Vishwanath Dalvi was elected unopposed as chairperson of the Ponda municipality last month. Following this, the vice chairperson’s post was vacant and election to the same was held on Friday.