ZP polls: Congress accuses govt of ‘manipulating’ process for ‘reserving’ constituencies

Panaji: Congress party, on Thursday, accused the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)-led state government of ‘manipulating’ the process for reserving the constituencies for the different categories for the ensuing general elections to North and South Goa zilla panchayats.

“The dates of ZP polls are out, but the government is
manipulating the reservation as they have done it in the past. We fear that the
government is going to pick and choose just to target the opposition. And, that
is not a democracy. We should have transparent criteria for reservation and
should be done on a policy basis,” said Goa Pradesh Congress Committee
(GPCC) president Girish Chodankar while
addressing a press conference in Panaji.

Chodankar said that the government should have specific
criteria for the reservation and should justify the same while declaring it,
especially, in the case of reserving the constituencies for women.

“Reservations should be done well in advance. We fear that the government
may declare the reservation policy just one or two days prior to the
announcement of the election schedule and then nobody will get an opportunity
to make an appeal to the competent authorities,” the state Congress president
said.

Panchayat Minister Mauvin Godhino in July 2017 had said
that the power of delimitation and reservation of village panchayat wards and
Zilla Panchayat constituencies would be given State Election

Commission.

Godinho had even claimed that a file was moved in this
regard by the government, however, till date no final decision has been taken
by the Chief Minister Pramod Sawant-led government.

Chodankar said that the Congress is targeting to contest
40 ZP seats out of the total 50, which include 25 seats each in North and South Goa districts.

“We will definitely field our candidates in 40 ZP
constituencies, and in the remaining 10 where we are not very strong we may try
to support the ones who are capable of defeating BJP candidates,” he said.

Earlier in the day, the GPCC organised a function to
commemorate the birth anniversary of former president of the party and chief of
Indian National Army Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose at the Congress House in
Panaji.

Chodankar along with Digambar Kamat and party workers
paid floral tributes to the most admired freedom fighter of India.

Source:: The Navhind Times

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