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Reservation jolt for ZP bigwigs in Salcete

Margao: The reservation for zilla panchayat constituencies has come as a major jolt for some sitting ZP members in Salcete.

Out of the nine ZP constituencies in Salcete, six are reserved as per the notification issued on Friday.

The reservations will make it difficult for some sitting ZP members get re-elected.

The Colva ZP constituency, with Nelly Rodrigues as the incumbent who is the four-time ZP member and the former chairperson of South Goa ZP, is now reserved for women OBC candidate.

Three-time ZP member of Benaulim Maria Rebello will also not be in a position to re-contest from there since the seat is reserved for OBC general candidate.

Nelly Rodrigues fumed, “Never in the history of ZP elections in Goa have so many seats been reserved. This is a grave injustice to the general population and assassination of democracy.” 

She further questioned how the seat can be reserved for OBC candidate when there is no sizeable OBC population in Colva constituency.

Sitting Curtorim ZP member Moreno Rebello is also peeved as the seat is now reserved for women.

Other seats in Salcete that are reserved include Velim for OBC general, Nuvem for ST, Guirdolim and Curtorim for women.  Interestingly, the constituency of the sitting chairperson of the South Goa ZP Navnath Naik is untouched.

The four constituencies of Sanguem and Quepem are unreserved and so it may benefit the former Congress leader of opposition and the present deputy chief minister Chandrakant  Kavlekar.

South Goa Congress president and former ZP member Joe Dias termed the reservations as a mockery of justice. AAP convenor Elvis Gomes called for investigation into the “conduct” of the State Election Commission.

He said, “The Election Commissioner addressed press conference to announce election schedule but did not have the seats reservation schedule with him. This is a serious lapse. How can the process be set in motion without declaration of reservation? Reservation schedule came much later. SEC has not ensured level playing field.”  

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