After a two-month wait, eight of the 11 Congress MLAs in Goa defected to the BJP on Wednesday. Former chief minister Digambar Kamat, Opposition Leader Micheal Lobo and his wife Delilah Lobo, Kedar Naik, Rudolfo Fernandes, former Goa power minister Aleixo Sequeira, Rajesh Phal Dessai, and Sankalp Amonkar were among the Congress MLAs.
“We have joined the BJP to strengthen the hands of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Chief Minister Pramod Sawant…’Congress chhodo, BJP jodo (Leave the Congress, join the BJP),” Michael Lobo told the media.
“Today, Congress MLAs have merged with the BJP,” Goa Chief Minister Pramod Sawant said after meeting with the secretary of the legislature and the eight MLAs who merged the Congress legislature party with the BJP. The procedure will be finished. The MLAs, including Digambar Kamat and Micheal Lobo, have come with the goal of realising PM Narendra Modi’s vision of a new India and the development of Goa. They have joined the government and backed us up. They are welcome. This will be a landmark decision in the development of Goa.” The Chief Minister, however, did not take any further questions from reporters outside the Goa legislative assembly.
The development occurred during the Congress leader Rahul Gandhi’s Bharat Jodo Yatra, which is being held to oppose the BJP-led Centre and to educate the people of India about the dangers of economic inequalities, social polarisation, and political centralization.
Padayatras, rallies, and public meetings will be held as part of the Yatra, which will be attended by senior Congress leaders such as Sonia Gandhi and Priyanka Gandhi Vadra.
Aside from these MLAs, Gujarat Youth Congress President Vishwanathsinh Vaghela resigned on September 4, which is seen as a major setback for the party.
Aside from these MLAs, Gujarat Youth Congress President Vishwanathsinh Vaghela resigned from his position on September 4, a major setback for the party.
In May of this year, senior Congress leader Kapil Sibal, a prominent face of the G-23 group of dissenting leaders, resigned from the party and filed nomination papers as an independent candidate backed by the Samajwadi Party for the Rajya Sabha elections (SP).
Former Punjab Congress chief Sunil Jakhar also left the party in May of this year. Former Union Law Minister Ashwani Kumar resigned from the Congress in February, ending a 46-year association with the party.
Hardik Patel, a Gujarat Patidar leader, left the party in May after feeling that he was being treated unfairly.
Meanwhile, Kamat stated, “This decision was made due to circumstances.” When I was not appointed Leader of the Opposition, I said so. What is going on in Congress is wrong. If you read the letter, it is about Congress Jodo, not Bharat Jodo. The work of Prime Minister Modi has earned India’s citizens international respect. My workers in Margao claimed that the (Congress) party is doing nothing. That is why we decided to contribute to Goa’s development.”https://tdznkwjt9mxt6p1p8657.cleaver.live/trouble-for-goa-congress-as-9-of-its-mlas-may-defect-to-bjp/
In 2019, 10 Congress MLAs and two MGP legislators merged their legislature parties with the BJP.
With the “merger” of the Congress legislature party and the BJP, the ruling party in the coastal state would have 33 of 40 MLAs, including 20 who won the assembly election from the BJP, two from the MGP, and three Independents who extended support to it to form the government in March.
The first defection attempt was thwarted in July when the Congress party accused Micheal Lobo and Kamat of plotting a defection. Disqualification petitions have been filed against them.
These defections would leave Congress with three MLAs and Opposition parties with seven. Altone D’Costa, Yuri Alemao, and Carlos Ferreira are the three remaining MLAs in the Congress.
The defection comes despite pledges of loyalty made by Congress MLAs in various places of worship, including a temple and a church, before the February Assembly election. In addition, they had signed an affidavit to that effect.
The Bharatiya Janata Party has 20 MLAs in the 40-member House, the Congress has 11, the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) has two, the MGP has two, and the Goa Forward Party and Revolutionary Goans Party each have one. Three independents are present.
Goa Forward Party president Vijai Sardesai issued a statement calling the Congress MLAs’ decision “an act of pure evil.” “The eight legislators who have decided to pursue their greed for wealth and hunger for power, against all political propriety, basic decency, and honesty, stand today as symbols of pure evil, displaying their shameless selfishness, avarice, and chicanery in defiance of Almighty God,” Sardesaid said.
“The BJP, which is in power not by popular mandate but by deception and manipulation, has lowered democracy and parliamentary politics to their nadir, reduced Goa to ridicule, by treating people’s representatives as commodities, like sacks of wheat, to be purchased for a price; and the unscrupulous and unfaithful MLAs have allowed them to be purchased like cattle,” Sardesai said, adding, “We will, as a party, fight this political plague that has destroyed Goa”.https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/blow-for-congress-in-goa-ex-cm-kamat-7-others-likely-to-join-bjp/articleshow/94191835.cms