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Mission PMC: MGP-backed Rising Ponda down by two

Ponda: Two newly-elected members of the Bharatiya Janata Party- backed Ponda Nagrik Samithi Venktesh Naik and Chandrakala Naik on Monday ruled out their support to Maharashtrawadi Gomantak Party-backed Rising Ponda to form the Ponda Municipal Council (PMC).

When asked as to why he is opposing support to the MGP in forming the council, Venktesh claimed that PWD Minister Sudin Dhavalikar during recent civic poll campaign had accused the current council of being the most corrupt.

“Since three of the incumbent councillors including me have now been re-elected then how can Sudin expect support from us when he had labelled that council as most corrupt,” he asked.

“PWD Minister campaigned against us during the civic poll and despite the campaign, the people voted and elected us,” he claimed.He asked the PWD Minister whether he could tolerate the support of those councillors whom he had alleged to be a part of a “corrupt” council. “It is because of such allegations by the PWD Minister, I will not support the MGP-backed panel,” he said.

Venktesh, who has been elected for the third term said it is not that only the MGP can form the council since elections are not held on party lines. All likeminded members elected from the panels may even come together and form the Council.

Venktesh’s sister-in-law Chandrakala Naik, who is a first-timer, supported his stand.With the duo ruling out their support to the MGP-backed panel in forming the council, the MGP has now the support of 10 members, which includes seven from its panel and three BJP members.

Meanwhile, Dr Ketan Bhatikar, who heads Ponda Rising panel said, “MGP will definitely form the council with backing of BJP councillors and the PMC chairperson from their own panel will be elected soon.”

The three members of the Congress-backed panel, which includes Ritesh Naik, son of Ponda MLA Ravi Naik, Anand Naik and William Aguiar at a panel meeting held on Monday decided to remain united. They downplayed the rumours that one of them is going to join MGP-backed panel. They said R G Desai would take a decision on whether to support or not. [H]

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