VASCO: Goencho Ekvott (GE) swept the polls in the seven-member Velsao Panchayat after five of their candidates were elected on Friday. While Outgoing Dy Sarpanch Sylvia DSouza, who was contesting from a different ward, lost the elections, her brother-in-law Jim D’Souza was elected from her ward against a candidate fielded by GE.
The results indicated a wave against the BJP and reconfirmed the stronghold of Congress leader Olencio Simoes in the coastal village.
The winners of Velsao Panchayat were Tecla Barretto (ward no 1), Maria Diana Goviea ( ward no 2), Francis Braganza ( Ward no 3 ), Jim D’Souza ( ward no 4 ), Remedios Noronha ( ward no 5), Rudika Ashlina Antao ( ward no 6) and Kishan Sankokar ( ward no 7).
Speaking to the media, Congress leader Olencio Simoes said that Velsao Panchayat was the first panchayat to take Railway to court and that the Double tracking project took centre stage and almost all people opposing the project won from Velsao.
“The panel of GE were reluctant to contest elections, but people insisted that they needed a change, and we managed to sweep the elections and defeat the BJP-backed panel. We have ensured that the villagers get their own candidate, and we will ensure that Velsao Panchayat becomes a model village,” said Simoes.
Orville Dourado of GE said that senior citizens were being harassed for land acquisition, and that was the reason GE decided to float their panel of candidates.
“The fight against double tracking will be renewed, and we will also see that there are no hotel projects, especially construction in the NDZ area. Our panel will work for all the citizens and as a unified team for the benefit of the entire panchayat jurisdiction, and we are an inclusive team, and we will work unitedly for the betterment of the village,” said Dourado.