Civic Body Polls: MMC May See A Pitched Battle

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PACHU MENON, MARGAO

Margao is in the news again! With dates for the civic polls to be announced anytime soon, the commercial capital has become the cynosure of all eyes. With a pitched battle in the offing, this municipal election promises to be a thriller of sorts which will eventually decide the flow of the tide in the ensuing elections to the state assembly in 2022. While the dominant parties in the fray are busy weighing their options and assessing their strengths, it is rather strange that the press has thought nothing about reporting from ground zero and has funnelled its efforts towards covering the evolving politics that is an inevitable part of the run-up to any election. Hence, the ward delimitations and reservations drew more headlines than the type of contenders, who would be contesting the elections. More than the need to have good candidates, who will carry the aspirations of the city dwellers further, it has been the political intrigues that necessarily describe such elections that have hogged the limelight. The alliances and the animosities between various political factions for the upcoming polls seem to be more concerning than the performance of the councillors, who represented various wards in the outgoing council. Preparing a report card of their achievements and failures in the past tenure, the press should be assisting the public in assessing the efficiency of the representatives. Tenure of any councillor has been essentially about attending to public grievances and his/her contributions to the development of the city. But the Margao city fathers have been different from their counterparts in like say the Vasco municipal council where the councillors have always maintained a separate identity for themselves in running the affairs of the civic body unlike the Margao municipal council (MMC), which has apparently been playing second fiddle to a couple of prominent legislators, who have run the council as their personal fiefdom. Hence, it becomes important to have Madgaumcars and people from Fatorda deciding on their own candidates for the forthcoming municipal elections without allowing the political affiliations of any contestant to get the better
of their judgment.