PANAJI: Goa Forward Party (GFP) leader and Saligao MLA Jayesh Salgaonkar on Thursday said that the GFP will not field candidates for the upcoming Zilla Panchayat (ZP) elections, but support independent candidates.
Addressing media persons at GFP headquarters in Panaji, Salgaonkar said, "GF as a party will not field candidates. We will support independent candidates who are best in their respective areas and are capable of performing well."
Salgaonkar also said that GFP is not in favour of holding ZP elections on party lines.
"Having ZP elections on party lines is inappropriate. They are like practicals for future elections and an experiment to check the party's base," he expressed.
He also alleged that Panchayat Minister Mauvin Godinho was trying to lure people with giving more powers to ZPs to win the elections.
Meanwhile, Salgaonkar has strongly opposed the memorandum empowering panchayat secretaries to implement the directions given by mamlatdars, director of panchayats, etc.
"Shockingly, we have come across a memorandum which has been issued without consulting anyone. Through the memorandum, they are empowering panchayat secretaries to implement all directions given by the mamlatdars or director of panchayats. If the secretaries are given powers to run the panchayats, then why do you need panchayat bodies. What is the role of gram sabhas. What is the use of having elections. This is clear murder of democracy. With this memorandum, there will be more scope for corruption," Salgaonkar said.
The Saligao MLA also said that the government will bulldoze the gram sabhas and implement their decisions.
"The memorandum is bad in taste. Through this, the government will try to get projects they want," he said.