The Goa Bench of the Bombay High Court on Monday set aside a notification issued by the state government's Directorate of Municipal Administration reserving various wards in five out of 11 civic bodies where elections will be held later this month.
The court ordered the Goa government to reconduct the exercise of reservation of wards in the five municipal councils of Margao, Mormugao, Mapusa, Sanguem, and Quepem. The bench said the election process in other municipalities should continue as per the schedule announced by State Election Commission (SEC).
The Directorate of Municipal Administration on February 4, 2021, issued the notification reserving various wards in these five civic bodies for the upcoming polls.
The opposition Congress and the Goa Forward Party were among nine petitioners in the case and had alleged that the reservation of wards was politically motivated and done without any logic.
The SEC last week announced elections for 11 municipal councils and the Corporation of the City of Panaji on March 20.
Around 2.5 lakh people are eligible to vote for these elections.
Reacting to the court's verdict, Leader of Opposition in the Goa Assembly Digambar Kamat tweeted, "With Honble High Court striking down DMA notification dated 4th February 2021 on Municipal ward reservations, it is beginning of End of @BJP4Goa governments jumla raj with manipulations in electoral polls."
With Hon'ble High court striking down DMA Notification dated 4th February 2021 on Municipal Ward Reservations, It is Begining of End of @BJP4Goa Governments Jumla Raj with Manipulations in Electoral Polls. Let us all rise to Save Democracy. @INCGoa— Digambar Kamat (@digambarkamat) March 1, 2021
"Let us all rise to Save Democracy," the Congress leader added.
Welcoming the court's order, Goa Forward Party's chief Vijai Sardesai tweeted "Satyamev Jayate!"
Satyamev Jayate!— Vijai Sardesai (@VijaiSardesai) March 1, 2021