Ten of 15 Congress members in the 40-member Goa Assembly arrive to meet Speaker Rajesh Patnekar, in Panaji, Wednesday, July 10, 2019, Screengrab (Courtesy: PTI)
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After a major political crisis in Karnataka in the Congress-JDS government, Congress faces a setback in Goa, as 10 of its 15 MLA’s approached the speaker wanting to join BJP. This disaster has emerged in Goa before Congress could sort out the situation in Karnataka.

The split in Congress became evident when Leader of Opposition Chandrakant Kavlekar, met the Speaker Rajesh Patnekar in the evening and submitted a letter notifying him about them breaking away from Congress.

Soon after their meeting, Chief Minister Pramod Sawant reached the Goa Assembly to meet the MLA’s and invited them to the party.

“10 Congress MLAs, along with their Opposition Leader, has merged with BJP. Strength of BJP has now risen to 27. They had come for the development of the state and their constituency. They have not put forward any condition, they have joined BJP unconditionally,” he said.

The MLAs include Atanasio Monserratte, Jeniffer Monserratte, Francis Silveira, Philip Nery Rodrigues, Cleaofacio Dias, Wilfred DSa, Nilkant Halarnkar and Isidor Fernandes.

The current strength of the Congress party in Goa is 15. With this, the party is left with only five MLAs. BJP is the single largest party with 17, Goa Forward Party and Independents have three each, while one MLA each is from NCP and MGP.

Earlier, Deputy CM Vijay Sardesai, had equated the legislators in the opposition party with “monkeys” who hop from one place to another.

“There are so many monkeys in the Congress party who are ready to jump. We have read about it in the media. But we will not provide them with any space in our fold. Let them stay where they are,” said Vijai Sardesai, whose Goa Forward Party (GFP) is one of the constituents in the BJP-led coalition government.

However, as of now, the BJP coalition has welcomed the legislators and is ready to drop all the three members of the Goa Forward Party.


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