Margao: Bureaucrat-turned-politician Elvis Gomes on Monday questioned the rationale behind the government decision to cancel the recruitment process set in motion by the Margao Municipal Council, terming the move as going against the spirit of the 74th Constitutional Amendment.
Elvis Gomes, who had a long stint as Director, Urban Development before he quit government service, further said the government cannot cancel the recruitment in anticipation that the jobs would be given to the siblings of councillors and politicians.
Panchayats and Municipalities need to step in
While briefing the media, Elvis warned that the government’s action by cancelling the recruitment process in the Margao Municipality would be just the beginning of interference in the functioning of the local grassroot bodies, unless the Panchayats and Municipalities stand united and opposed the move.
“The MMC is an autonomous body. The Municipalities and Panchayats are institutions. This status has been given to them by the Constitution and not by the government”, he said.
He added: “Cancellation of the recruitment process is nothing but an assault on these institutions. Why should the government tell them to recruit the staff through Staff Selection Commission. The government should first explain why hundreds of jobs were not filled up through the SSC since its formation in 2018”.
Saying the government’s action against the MMC is not just the issue of Margao Municipality, but all the civic and panchayat bodies, Elvis said the Congress party is committed to further devolve the powers and functions to these bodies. “The government has clear intention to take away their right. It is obvious the government is pressurizing these bodies and bringing them under their control," he added.
Saying the government ought to have cited genuine reasons to stop the recruitment process, he said there were no allegations of scam, fraud before the process was cancelled.
Elvis Gomes questions government for favouring nepotism
When his attention was drawn to allegations that some of the jobs were to be given to the kith and kin of councillors, Elvis shot back “Is there no fraud in government recruitment when the politicians fill up the posts by giving the jobs to their kith and kin and from their constituencies?”
To another question that the Urban Development Minister Vishwajit Rane has kept the process on hold till the government comes up with common cadre for the Municipal employees, Elvis said, "Common cadre is a big process. It is a lengthy process where nitty gritties are involved. I fail to understand how come the MMC recruitment process is cancelled in anticipation of the common cadre”.