'Taleigaonkars' on Wednesday served an ultimatum to their local MLA and Revenue Minister Jennifer Monserrate and Panaji MLA Atanasio (Babush) Monserrate to publicly clarify their stand until Sunday on the proposal to merge Taleigao panchayat into the Corporation of the City of Panaji (CCP) or face an agitation.
"From Sunday we will start mobilising the entire Taleigao village and launch an agitation against the move," Advocate Pundalik Raikar said at a press conference on Wednesday afternoon.
Earlier in the day, Jennifer took to social media site Facebook to announce that there was no such move to merge Taleigao panchayat into the CCP.
Raikar meanwhile accused the Monserrates of a sinister design to further their real estate vested interests which he said is destroying Taleigao's verdant green cultivable lands with concrete edifices and an illegal network of roads by merging the panchayat into CCP.
Raikar, Xavier Almeida and some others of a collective called 'Taleigaonkars' and over a hundred villagers who were present vowed to oppose the proposal to include Taleigao village in CCP's jurisdiction.
Raikar also alleged that Jennifer was only the 'dejure' MLA of Taleigao while it is Mr Monserrate who is the 'de-facto' MLA and takes all decisions unilaterally on Taleigao.
He said for the last nearly 20 years, Monserrate had only one agenda: Real Estate.
He also listed a number of issues such as higher taxes, doubling of the garbage problem, displacement of Taleigaonkars with big real estate projects among others if the plan to merge the panchayat with CCP goes ahead.
Meanwhile, in her Facebook post, Jennifer said: "The citizens of Taleigao have always been a force of stability and support to Atanasio Monserrate - Babush & me. The opinion of our people is extremely valuable and matters to us in any decision making process involving Taleigao. We assure the people of Taleigao that there is no proposal to include the Taleigao panchayat with the Corporation of the City of Panaji."
Media reports had suggested that the Monserrates who represent the Taleigao and Panaji Assembly constituencies, had written to the government proposing the panchayat's merger with the CCP and increase of the wards to 50 from the current 30.