Panaji: In a major blow to the Congress in Goa, which is the major opposition party, 10 MLAs quit the party to join the ruling BJP. With this split the number of Congress in Goa Assembly has been reduced to 5.
Surprisingly, the 10 Congress MLAs who joined the BJP, includes the opposition leader, Chandrakant Kavlekar. The 10 Congress MLAs met the Speaker Rajesh Patnekar in the evening and submitted a letter claiming that they are splitting away from the Congress party.
As two-thirds of the Congress MLAs in the Assembly has walked away from the party the MLAs need not quit the Assembly.
The Goa Chief Minister, Pramod Sawant, also accompanied the MLAs when they arrived at the Assembly.
The BJP can now boost of 27 MLAs in the Assembly, which is a comfortable position in a 40-member house. The BJP’s ally in the Assembly the Goa Forward Party which has 3 MLAs.
Chandrakant Kavlekar said that he will make a statement later and everyone is expecting him to reveal his reasons to switch sides in the statement.
Congress is also facing a political crisis in neighbouring Karnataka too where the Congress-JD(S) alliance is ruling. 13 Congress MLAs have tendered their resignation to the Speaker in addition to 3 JD(S) MLAs. The government has turned into a minority after the MLAs quit.