Joined BJP to strengthen PM Modis hands: Goa Cong MLAs

Joined BJP to strengthen PM Modi's hands: Goa Cong MLAs

After eight Goa Congress MLAs joined the BJP on Wednesday (September 14), one of them has spoken about why they jumped ship.

Michael Lobo said they took the decision to strengthen the hands of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Goa Chief Minister Pramod Sawant.

A resolution was passed in the Congress Legislature Party (CLP) meeting on Wednesday to merge with the BJP, Lobo said.

Also read: BJP will have to pay for comments on Bharat Jodo Yatra: Gehlot

Just 3 MLAs in Opposition

The Opposition is now left with just three MLAs in the 40-member state Assembly.

The eight MLAs – former chief minister Digambar Kamat, Lobo, Delilah Lobo, Rajesh Phaldesai, Kedar Naik, Sankalp Amonkar, Aleixo Sequeira and Rudolf Fernandes – joined the BJP in presence of CM Sawant and state BJP chief Sadanand Shet Tanavade.

In a similar move in July 2019, 10 Congress MLAs had switched over to the BJP in Goa. The BJP retained power in the coastal state after Assembly elections in March this year. It has 20 MLAs in the Assembly, while the Congress strength will be depleted from 11 to three.

Briefing media persons in the presence of Chief Minister Sawant, Lobo said the Congress Legislature Party met on Wednesday morning during which they decided to merge with the BJP.

“The decision was taken to strengthen the hands of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Goa CM Pramod Sawant,” he said.

Also read: Bharat Jodo Yatra’s success has rattled BJP, says Congress

“We have started Congress Chhodo Yatra from Goa,” he said.


Lobo said the resolution has been submitted to the state legislature secretary and the chief minister.

Goa Assembly Speaker Ramesh Tawadkar has also been informed about the development, he said.

The Speaker is currently in New Delhi.

Digambar Kamat told reporters that he took the decision to join the BJP based on the circumstances.

“When I was not chosen as leader of Opposition by the party (after the Goa polls held earlier this year), I had expressed my displeasure. If you see the letter of Gulam Nabi Azad (who quit the Congress recently), you will be able to draw the conclusion,” Kamat said.

He said the country is witnessing development under PM Modi. Indians are being looked at with respect, Kamat added.

What Congress says

The crossing over of eight of its MLAs to the BJP is part of the ruling party’s ‘Operation Kichad’, the Congress said on Wednesday and claimed the “break” was fast-tracked because of the visible success of its Bharat Jodo Yatra.

“Operation Kichad of BJP in Goa has been fast tracked because of the visible success of the Bharat Jodo Yatra. BJP is nervous,” Congress general secretary in-charge communications Jairam Ramesh said in a tweet.

“A daily dose of diversion & disinformation is handed out to undermine the Yatra. We remain undeterred. We will overcome these dirty tricks of the BJP,” he said.

His party colleague Pawan Khera echoed him and said the BJP, rattled by the Bharat Jodo Yatra, had organised Operation Kichad (mud) in the coastal state.

“Once again it has been proven that the BJP can only break,” the Congress communication department head said in a tweet in Hindi.

“Those who are not able to support this difficult journey of uniting India, fearing the threats of BJP, cross over to those who break… (they) should understand that India is watching,” he added.

(With Agency inputs)

Read More
Next Story