Thursday 28 Sep 2023

CM Sawant, Ravi pass Sanquelim-Ponda test

Ashley do Rosario, Warren Menezes | MAY 11, 2023, 11:15 PM IST

The results of the civic elections in Sanquelim and Ponda have come as a grand relief for two of the ruling dispensations big leaders -- Chief Minister Pramod Sawant and Agriculture Minister Ravi Naik.

In Sanquelim, Sawant managed to handsomely capture, by a 11-1 margin, control of the Sanquelim Municipal Council for the first time since making his unsuccessful debut contest of the assembly seat in the bye-election held in 2009 following the death of the then MLA Gurudas Gawas.

In Ponda, the indomitable Ravi had the double satisfaction of not just retaining control of the PMC but also getting both his sons -- Ritesh and Roy -- elected from their respective wards. But if sources in the Naik kandhan are to be believed, the second prize is proving to be more a headache rather than a boon for the veteran. 

If the gossip we hear is true, Roy, who is said to be too ambitious for his boots more than proven in his days living in the shadow of his father's reign as Home Minister in the 2007-12 term, has staked claim to the chairperson's post and the veteran will have a task at hand to pick between the two. 

Nonetheless, for now, it's 'Bivpachi garaz na' in Sanquelim, and in Ponda, it's 'Jai Shri Ram', 'Jai Sitaram' and 'Jai Ravi' (Surya), for Sawant and Ravi respectively.

Shunning cold 'turkey' proves 

costly for Dharmesh Saglani

As discussed by us in these very columns, his decision to shun his electoral 'cold turkey' ih Sanquelim, allegedly at the behest of a certain mentor has proved costly for Congressman Dharmesh Saglani.

Apparently Chief Minister Pramod Sawant was on the verge of pulling off a coup even before the Sanquelim Municipal Council election process began getting his political managers to ensure his opponents stay aloof from the upcoming municipality elections.

Saglani, a tourism entrepreneur who has made Sawant sweat to win the Sanquelim seat twice in 2022 and five years earlier at the 2017 hustings, had almost made up his mind not to contest. 

The tourism entrepreneur known to be politically influential in the town, however reversed his decision. Saglani's U-turn came after nudging and prodding by a certain mentor, who by political circumstances, is forced to go incognito in his shadow-boxing of the CM.

While the results last week will have left Saglani all hurt and licking his wounds for a long time to come, that 'certain mentor' has had a gala time licking the honey off his 'baklava'.

Mapusa: Is it anti-encroachment 

or 'raising the hafta' drive?

The Mapusa Municipal Council is back in the news and this time for a good reason or so it seems to be. 

An otherwise somnolent civic body, the municipal authorities suddenly went into overdrive and began clearing all encroachments in town.

The talk of the town, however, was the action the civic authorities took against the eatery stalls near the defunct Alankar theatre.

Popularly known as the 'food court' in Mapusa, the stalls serve all kinds of food items, from omlette pau to biryani, besides a variety of fruit shakes and deserts.

With bandicoots scooting between the legs, the place is also very unhygienic to say the least.

But who bothers. At least not those who patronize these stalls till late in the night.

By 7 in the evening part of the road around the stalls get packed with table and chairs much against the law.

So when the civic officials descended on the area and began lifting the furniture and dismantling the illegal extensions to the stalls, eyes began to roll and tongues started wagging.

This action is basically to raise the 'hafta' amount, said one. It's just to divert the attention of the sex scandal, said another.

Well, from our end we promise to keep our eyes and ears open and bring you the latest on whether this drive was a serious one or just another tamasha' for your eyes only.

Goa sports assocns: tuned 

into Nat Games or Nat Geo?

Earlier this week, Chief Minister Pramod Sawant bemoaned that the many State Sports Associations have failed to prepare teams for the upcoming National Games which Goa will host in October-November. 

Sawant was especially livid because it was known that the State would be hosting these prestigious games, touted as a mini-Olympic in India, some eight years ago and yet the Associations responsible to administer the different sports disciplines in the State, have failed. 

To be fair to the associations, however, the blame for their lethargy, could partly be pushed on to the government's own failure to complete the necessary infrastructure work for the Games on time to meet past hosting deadlines.

So, why have associations been so nonchalant about the preparations for the competition? Why was there such a big delay in preparations for an important sporting event of this stature? 

Were the officials involved tuned in to long National Geographic documentaries rather than focusing on the National Games? Whatever the reason may be, the preparations by both the State government and sports associations have indeed been an embodiment of the famed Goan 'Susegad' trait.

Eventually, it is expected to translate into a rank bad show in the playing arenas when the Games descend upon us in October-November. Until then, fingers crossed.

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