With an 8th Std Babush Monserrate as MLA, an under-educated Rohit Monserrate as Apprentice Mayor and now with Kabir Makhija besides Kishore Sastry on faked expertise as co-opted Counncillors at the Corporation of the City of Panaji (CCP), the sagging intelligence quotient on public display does not augur well for Goa’s capital City.

Section 9 (b) of the CCP Act makes a provision to nominate up to five Councillors being persons having special knowledge or experience in municipal administration, engineering, architecture, archaeology, heritage etc.

The appointment of Kabir Makhija and Kishore Sastry as co-opted Councillors is in total breach and violation of the CCP Act as both do not meet the requirement of the necessary special knowledge or experience in the required fields.

Mayor Rohit Monserrate while proposing to nominate Kabir Makhija and Kishore Sastry as co-opted Councillors falsely stated that they were experts in the field of Engineering and Urban Administration respectively.

The provision for co-opted Councillors is for CCP to get advice and guidance of experts and not to be misused to politically rehabilitate former Councillors. Kishore Sastry lost the recent CCP polls held in March this year while Kabir Makhija’s ward being reserved for women was contested by his sister who was also defeated.

In fact the bio-data submitted by Kabir Makhija and Kishore Sastry does not make any mention of them having any expertise in Engineering and Urban Administration while Kishore Sastry in his biodata has stated that his educational qualification is I.T.I in Electrical and that he speaks Kannada. So his only possible contribution to the CCP would be to act as interpreter between the English only speaking Mayor and the Kannada speaking municipal workers. As far as my friend Kabir Makhija is concerned as stated by him in his biodata he is rightly a proficient athlete and has excelled as a Model on the ramp, but this is not what a sinking Panaji now desperately requires. Kabir Makhija and Kishore Sastry should have upheld their self respect and not frantically craved for a position they do not qualify for.

Co-opted councilors are supposed to be persons with vast experience in the fields specified in the CCP Act so that they could through their long experience and enhanced knowledge contribute their ideas at meetings and deliberations of the Corporation. The appointment of these two councilors is a farce and as well as a fraud committed on the people of Panaji.

In the current pandemic the CCP has excelled in swiftly appointing the Co-opted Councillors. The Mayor on 7th April moved a note to the Commissioner proposing the two names while immediately on 9th April the then CCP Commissioner Sanjit Rodrigues wrote to the Director of Urban Development proposing the names while the file after being hurriedly cleared though objections were raised by senior bureaucrats at the Secretariat a notification was issued on 28th April notifying them as co-opted Councillors.

We as voters have failed Panaji. The 2022 Assembly elections would be an opportunity to prove that we have brains up there and that we are no duffers. 

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