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GFP’s hold on Margao civic body is unsteady



After losing power in the BJP government, the Goa  Forward Party could be in for more troubles. The Margao municipal council, which is ruled by the GFP-supported group of councillors, is on a sticky wicket as the BJP-backed councillors are likely to withdraw their support extended to the  GFP group.

In the 25-member council, there are 11 GFP-backed  members, six BJP-supported members, six Congress-backed members, and two  Independent councillors.

At present, the ruling council comprises 11 members backed by the GFP, six members supported by the BJP and one Independent councillor.  The ruling council is  headed  by  chairperson  Dr Babita Prabhudesai.

There must be 13  councillors  in one group for forming the ruling council.

Reliable sources said that a few days back some BJP leaders held a secret   meeting with the  six party-supported  MMC councillors, asking  them to withdraw backing to the GFP group, which  was extended in 2017.

Although the sources said the GFP will seek support of two Independent councillors, it is yet to be seen whether these Independent members would rally behind the GFP-backed group.  It is understood that  the GFP-supported  councillors are in talks with the  councillors  backed  by the

Congress  to avoid collapse of the ruling council. However, the six Congress-backed councillors are not forthcoming on their support to the GFP group.

Interestingly, the  BJP-backed  councillors are hopeful of breaking bread with the Congress-supported council members. 

“We still have the hold over the Margao municipal council,’’ GFP president  and  Fatorda legislator Vijai Sardesai maintained.  

Sources claimed that a couple of  GFP-supported councillors are in touch with the  BJP-backed councillors, who have rolled up their sleeves to  topple the Prabhudesai-led ruling council.

However, MMC’s vice-chairperson Tito Cardozo  is confident of the unity among the ruling council members.

“We are united. We have the required  support of councillors… there are  no worries for  us,” he asserted.

The GFP-backed group  had assumed  the reins of the council   after  the 2015 municipal election with the  help of the councillors belonging to the Margao Model group,  which was backed by senior Congress leader and Margao  MLA  Digambar Kamat. 

Dr  Prabhudesai  was selected as  chairperson and  Doris Texeira as  vice-chairperson.

However, the bonhomie between the GFP and the BJP that emerged after the 2017  assembly elections  changed the political equations. Six  BJP-backed councillors, who had been in the Opposition, supported  the GFP group. Texeira was told to step down and  GFP-backed  councillor  Cardozo was made the vice-chairperson.

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