Voting underway for 6 municipal councils, 1 civic corp in Goa

Panaji: Voting was underway on Saturday in the elections to Goa’s six municipal councils and the prestigious Corporation of the City of Panaji.

The state will also witness three bypolls, namely in one ward of the Sanquelim Municipal Council, one zila panchayat seat and in one village panchayat ward.

According to Secretary of the State Election Commission Melvyn Vaz, 96,567 voters are eligible to cast their ballots in the elections.

“A total of 423 candidates are contesting the elections to the six municipalities and one municipal corporation,” Vaz said.

The vote count will take place on March 22.

The process for the municipal polls, which are not being held on party lines, has been struck by a series of controversies.

Originally, 11 municipalities and one municipal corporation (along with by the three bypolls) were set to go to polls on March 20, until the Bombay High Court earlier this month faulted ward reservation proceedings for women, SC, ST and OBC candidates, in five municipal councils namely Margao, Mormugao, Mapusa, Quepem and Sanguem postponing the polls in the named municipalities.

The Supreme Court later upheld the High Court order and postponed the elections to the same five municipalities, directing the State Election Commission to complete the poll process by April 30.

In yet another controversy, opposition MLAs have complained to the poll authority as well as state Governor Bhagat Singh Koshyari to direct Chief Minister Pramod Sawant not to present a full fledged budget on March 24, fearing that budgetary announcements and policy announcements would influence voters registered in the five municipalities, where elections have been postponed.


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