Congress removes Leader of Opposition in Goa: Speculation of 9 MLAs going to BJP, 4 met CM; 40 crore offer claim

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  • 9 MLAs of Goa Congress may join BJP, former CM Digambar Kamat may also join BJP

PanajiOne hour ago

Amidst the ongoing turmoil in Maharashtra, now the political stir has intensified in the neighboring state of Goa as well. However, there is news of break in Congress, not of toppling the government here. Four MLAs have also met Chief Minister Pramod Sawant.

According to sources, there is speculation about the joining of nine Congress MLAs, including former Goa Chief Minister Digambar Kamat and Leader of Opposition Michael Lobo, to the BJP. Meanwhile, the Congress high command on Sunday removed Michael Lobo from the post of Leader of Opposition. It is being told that Lobo and former Chief Minister Digambar Kamat are in the main role behind the deal with BJP.

Lobo was in BJP before Congress. In January 2022, a month before the assembly elections, he had joined the Congress party, a day after he resigned from the Pramod Sawant cabinet. His wife also joined the Congress with him.

Michael Lobo was seen leaving the residence of CM Pramod Sawant with his MLA wife Delilah Lobo.

Michael Lobo was seen leaving the residence of CM Pramod Sawant with his MLA wife Delilah Lobo.

40 crores given to MLAs
According to an India Today report, former Goa Congress President Girish Chodankar has claimed that MLAs have been offered Rs 40 crore to join the BJP. Calling Congress MLAs by

The three MLAs who have been contacted by the BJP disclosed this to Congress’ Goa in-charge Dinesh Gundu Rao. Gundu Rao said that the role of Leader of Opposition Michael Lobo and former Chief Minister Digambar Kamat has come to the fore behind breaking the MLAs. Lobo has been removed from the post of Peeta’s opposition by the party. Action will also be taken against Kamat.

However, the BJP has denied the allegations. BJP state president Sadanand Tanavade said that the allegation of Congress is baseless.

Michael Lobo (right) had left the BJP and joined the Congress in January this year.

Michael Lobo (right) had left the BJP and joined the Congress in January this year.

Only 3 MLAs reached the Congress meeting
Congress has 11 MLAs in Goa. Amidst speculations of rebellion, the party had called an emergency meeting of all the MLAs at around 7 pm on Sunday. It was attended by Girish Chodankar, Dinesh Rao, and Amit Patkar. Digambar Kamat, Michael Lobo, Delilah Lobo, Alexio Sequeira, Kedar Naik, Rajesh Faldesai, Carlos Alvares, Elton Dacosta, Yuri Alemo do not attend the meeting.

Congress said – all MLAs are united
Congress has denied these reports. Senior Goa Congress leader Girish Chodankar confirmed to Bhaskar that not one of our MLAs is going to join BJP. These are just rumours. The MLAs who had gathered at the hotel on Saturday were busy discussing the session starting from Monday.

Congress leader Dinesh Gundu Rao has denied that the MLAs are angry.

Congress leader Dinesh Gundu Rao has denied that the MLAs are angry.

Congress engaged in persuading angry MLAs
According to sources, efforts are on to persuade the angry MLAs in the Congress. AICC Goa in-charge Dinesh Gundu Rao is busy in persuading the MLAs. However, Gundu Rao said that yesterday we had a meeting of CLP in Goa. All the MLAs of the party are together. BJP is trying to intimidate our MLAs. He has denied that some Congress MLAs are camping in Delhi.

In 2019 too many MLAs had left Congress
Earlier in 2019 also 10 out of 15 Congress MLAs had joined BJP. Leader of the Opposition Chandrakant Kavlekar was also involved in this. Goa CM Pramod Sawant had all the rebel Congress MLAs included in the BJP. Digambar Kamat, Michael Lobo, Sankalp Amonkar, Kedar Nayak and Rajesh Faldesai are among the MLAs who can break from Congress.

Chandrakant Kavlekar was made Deputy CM as soon as he joined BJP in 2019.

Chandrakant Kavlekar was made Deputy CM as soon as he joined BJP in 2019.

BJP is away from 1 seat for majority
There are 40 seats in the Goa Legislative Assembly. Congress has 11 and BJP has 20 MLAs. Apart from this, Maharashtra Gomantak Party has 2 MLAs, 3 Independents. According to information received from sources, Union Transport Minister Nitin Gadkari is going to Goa.

No party got a majority in the state in the 2022 Goa assembly elections. BJP got 20 seats out of the total 40 in the state, while the majority figure is 21. In this way BJP was just one step away from full majority in Goa. However, BJP leaders formed the government in the state with the help of independents.

Pramod Sawant became the Chief Minister of Goa for the second time in a row after his victory in the elections held in the same year.

Pramod Sawant became the Chief Minister of Goa for the second time in a row after his victory in the elections held in the same year.

Both the deputy CMs had lost the election.
In the last election, both the deputy CMs of Goa lost the election to the Congress candidate. Deputy CM Manohar Ajgaonkar was defeated by Leader of Opposition and Congress candidate Digambar Kamat by nearly 6,000 votes from the Margao assembly seat.

Second Deputy CM Chandrakant Kavlekar lost from Quepem seat to Congress candidate Alton D’Costa. He had won from here in 2017 on a Congress ticket. After this he joined BJP along with 9 Congress MLAs and was given the post of Deputy Chief Minister. Costa, who contested from this seat for the first time, defeated Kavlekar by a margin of over 3,000 votes.

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