Even as Congress party tries to keep its flock together in Karnataka, the party has lost two-third of its MLAs in Goa in a sudden development. The party suffered a massive setback when 10 out of Congress 15 MLAs quick the party today and decided to merge with BJP. The MLAs quitting the party includes Leader of Opposition Chandrakant Kavlekar.
Goa CM Pramod Sawant: 10 Congress MLAs, along with their Opposition Leader, have merged with BJP. Strength of BJP has now risen to 27. They had come for development of the state & their constituency. They have not put forward any condition, they have joined BJP unconditionally. pic.twitter.com/uQOOuNoNhR
— ANI (@ANI) July 10, 2019
Goa CM Pramod Sawant informed media that 10 Congress MLAs along with the opposition leader have merged with BJP. He said that the MLAs joined the party without any condition.
As two-third Congress MLAs have quit the party, they will evade the anti-defection law and hence will remain as MLAs. At present BJP has 17 MLAs, and it is running the government with the support of Goa Forward Party and independent MLAs. After the 10 MLAs formally join BJP, the ruling party will have 27 MLAs in the 40-member assembly, and it will not need the support of others.
The rebel Congress faction met the speaker today and asked for a separate sitting arrangement in the assembly ahead of the monsoon session that is scheduled to start on July 15. Other than four former chief ministers Pratapsingh Rane, Digambar Kamat, Ravi Naik and Luizinho Faleiro, and MLA Aleixo Reginaldo Lourenco, all other Congress legislators have left the party.
According to reports, Goa CM Pramod Sawant will drop the GFP minister from the ministry after the Congress MLAs join, and five of them will be inducted in the ministry.