The BJP saved a major embarrassment in the port town when its Councillor Ramchandra Kamat was elected unopposed as Vice Chairperson of the Mormugao Municipal Council (MMC).
Another BJP-backed Councillor Vinod Kinlekar had also decided to contest against Kamat, but the BJP intervened and decided to support the candidature of Kamat. As a result, Kinlekar withdrew his nomination at the last minute.
On a day of twist and turns, election to the post of MMC vice chairperson began on shaky note as the meeting was delayed by half an hour due to a lack of quorum of councillors attending the meeting. The election was presided over by Mormugao Dy Collector Bhagwant Karmali.
While the meeting was deferred by half an hour, sources said all councillors along with Vasco MLA Krishna Salkar and Mormugao MLA were present at Panchayats Minister Mauvin Godinho’s office to discuss ways to avoid an embarrassment and a contest between two BJP backed councillors.
"Godinho had a long meeting with all councillors in the presence of Salkar and Amonkar. They finally decided that Kinlekar would withdraw his nomination in favour of Kamat, who would be elected unopposed," said the source.
Finally at around 11.30 am, all councillors proceeded to the MMC hall and Kinlekar withdrew his nomination to enable Kamat get elected unopposed as the MMC vice chairperson.
Later speaking to reporters, newly elected MMC Vice Chairperson Ramchandra Kamat said having a large number of developmental works was his priority.
"We are all BJP-backed councillors and BJP is a party with discipline. These elections have proved this. All my colleagues stood in support of my candidature but there are times when two persons may be interested in the same post.”
“It was the party’s decision to support me this time and Kinlekar can take the next tenure. We are all united and we will take development works as top priority," said Kamat.
(To receive our E-paper on WhatsApp daily, please click here. To receive it on Telegram, please click here. We permit sharing of the paper's PDF on WhatsApp and other social media platforms.)