The Goa IT Business Association (GIBA) election was an action packed
political drama with intrigue, accusations and suspense all thrown in.
Allegations and counter allegations were leveled against certain members-one
side led by Prashant Kuncolienkar and the other by Balkrishna Prabhudesai, the
erstwhile President of the association. Some of the allegations were about
indulging in horse trading and two members were debarred from voting. There were
also some issues about region-based politics that were raised.
In a closely fought battle, Prabhudesai lost his post to Kuncolienkar by a
margin of two votes. Following this, Muzaffar Kadri was elected as VP, Vinayak
Nayak as General Secretary, Shrivallabh Sardesai as Treasurer, Gene Lobo as
Joint Secretary. Vinay Mhambre, Ashley Delaney and Mandar Manjrekar were elected
as Executive Members of the association. The term of the new office bearers will
begin on April 1, 2009.
Sources revealed that the issue cropped up during the upgradation of members,
which started in the second week of March. GIBA has two kinds of
membership-permanent and temporary. Temporary members do not have any voting
rights, but can participate in association meetings. However, as per the
procedure, a temporary member can become permanent only after paying a certain
After the last date of upgrading membership, which was March 14, around Rs
48,000 was deposited in the account of the association in cash to get permanent
membership of 12 people. A source said that this was allegedly paid by outgoing
President Prabhudesai, who wanted these people to vote him into retaining his
post of President.
On the other hand, the outgoing office bearers rejected the upgradation
applications of two temporary members, for certain reasons. But after a lot of
debate the said people were allowed to vote. What's noteworthy is that
Prabhudesai also lost by a margin of two votes.
When contacted, Prabhudesai refuted all the charges. “Why would I pay to
upgrade the membership of 12 members? If such is the case then I would have paid
for 20 members and won,” he shot back. The outgoing President lamented that the
allegation leveled against him was the result of deterioration in the level of
politics in GIBA, in the last few years. He claimed that people were divided on
the geographies of South and North Goa.
“Due to this low level of politics, certain decisions I had taken for the
interest of the community were not supported by a group of people. I think
rather than fighting amongst ourselves, we should stand together and fight for
our common interest. Whatever be the circumstances, I want GIBA as an
association to grow to an extent where it can safeguard the interest of channel
community against national distributors and vendors,” added Prabhudesai.
When contacted, Kuncolienkar, the newly elect President said, “Now we all
have to come together, and work for the betterment of the channel community,
which is fighting a battle of survival in this time of slowdown.”