8 of 11 Cong MLAs in Goa join BJP in Goa

Wednesday 21st September 2022 07:18 EDT

Eight of the 11 Congress MLAs “merged” the Goa Congress Legislature Party into BJP, taking the saffron party’s strength alone to 28 in the 40-member House. Former CM Digambar Kamat, who led the rebel MLAs along with opposition leader Michael Lobo, said they “spoke to God” before joining BJP and were advised to take an “appropriate decision”.

The 8 MLAs form 2/3rds of Congress’s strength in assembly, which means they can split without having to resign and recontest. Sudden turn of events took place after Congress MLA Michael Lobo told CM Pramod Sawant that the merger, if any, should be done soon as he was leaving for Kenya. Two months ago, there was an attempt by most of these MLAs to join BJP, but it fizzled out after 2 of them backed out at the last-minute. Congress had thereafter moved disqualification petition against Kamat and Lobo, which is still pending. Kamat returns to BJP after 17 years, complaining of suffocation, despite being considered no. 2 in the Manohar Parrikar-led government. The BJP camp greeted his homecoming with silence as party workers still feel he “backstabbed” Parrikar.

CM Pramod Sawant’s cabinet 2.0 is expected to be reshuffled soon as he is likely to drop 2-3 ministers to accommodate the new entrants. A senior BJP functionary said Alexio Sequeira, who had been a minister in two previous Congress governments, would be inducted immediately. This comes at a time when Rahul Gandhi is leading a “Bharat Jodo” yatra. Sawant said while Congress was busy with its “Bharat Jodo” yatra, a “Congress chhodo yatra” had begun in Goa.

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