‘Congress chodo, BJP ko jodo’: Eight of 11 Congress MLAs join BJP in Goa | The Financial Express

‘Congress chodo, BJP ko jodo’: Eight of 11 Congress MLAs join BJP in Goa

In this particular case, disqualification under the anti-defection law will not apply to the leaders who have left Congress and merged with the BJP as they constitute more than two-thirds of the party legislators in the state.

‘Congress chodo, BJP ko jodo’: Eight of 11 Congress MLAs join BJP in Goa
8 Congress MLAs meet Goa CM before joining BJP.

In a huge blow to Congress, eight out of its 11 MLAs in the state Assembly on Wednesday joined BJP today. Among those MLAs who joined the BJP today include former chief minister Digambar Kamat, former leader of opposition in the state Assembly Michael Lobo, Delilah Lobo, Rajesh Phaldesai, Kedar Naik, Sankalp Amonkar, Aleixo Sequeira and Rudolf Fernandes.

Addressing the media, former Leader of Opposition Michael Lobo, said, “We have joined the BJP to strengthen the hands of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Chief Minister Pramod Sawant…’Congress chhodo, BJP ko jodo (Leave the Congress, join the BJP)’.”Earlier in the day, a photograph showed the rebel Congress leaders meeting Chief Minister Pramod Sawant in the Assembly complex. 

ALSO READ | Goa: Five of 11 Cong MLAs go ‘incommunicado’, party sacks Michael Lobo as LoP for ‘conspiring with BJP’

With nearly four and half years left to go for Goa’s next legislative assembly polls, the party is, now, left with only three MLAs in the Assembly. In this particular case, disqualification under the anti-defection law will not apply to the leaders who left the Congress and merged with the BJP as they constitute more than two-thirds of the party legislators in the state.

Earlier, speculation of a mass defection was rife after the MLAs went to the Speaker’s chamber and reporters were barred from entering the assembly premises. The meeting with the Speaker came at an odd time when the state assembly was not in session.

In July, Leader of Opposition Michael Lobo was removed from his post as five Congress legislators had gone “incommunicado.” The party had then blamed Kamat and Lobo for trying to break away from the party and join hands with the BJP.

ALSO READ | Relief for Goa’s Curlies, Supreme Court stays demolition process initiated by state govt

The other MLAs who went missing in July were Kedar Naik, Rajesh Faldesai and Deliahlah Lobo, wife of Michael Lobo. Three years ago, 10 legislators from the party had crossed over to the BJP.

With the recent merger, the Congress has been reduced to three MLAs in the 40-member strong Goa state assembly, while the BJP has the support of 33 legislators, including two from Maharashtrawadi Gomantak Party (MGP) and three independent MLAs.

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First published on: 14-09-2022 at 11:08:36 am
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