PANAJIThe Congress on Tuesday managed to avert a major crisis and a possible split in its Goa unit after 10 of the party’s 11 MLAs attended a meeting chaired by senior leader Mukul Wasnik in Panaji. According to sources, barring former Chief Minister Digambar Kamat, all Congress MLAs including Michael Lobo attended the meeting that lasted over two hours at the state party headquarters here on Monday.
Congress Goa desk in-charge Dinesh Gundu Rao and state party president Amit Patkar were also present during the meeting. Wasnik claimed that some people with “bad intentions” were trying to create rift in the Goa Congress, but the MLAs ended it by showing that they were united.
CLP meeting @INCGoa In our office at Panjim in the presence of Mr. @mukulwasnik,
9 out of our 11 MLAs were present.
effort by @BJP4India The split has flopped, though sadly they still haven’t stopped trying. pic.twitter.com/Hk5lqhmZju— dinesh gundu rao (@dineshgrao) 11 July 2022
He said that during the meeting, discussions were held with the MLAs on working aggressively in the House and strengthening the party in the coastal state. On Sunday, five Congress MLAs, including Kamat and Lobo, went incommunicado. However, he participated in the proceedings of the Goa Legislative Assembly on Monday, the first day of the monsoon session, and claimed that there was nothing wrong in it and that he was with the party.
The Congress had accused Lobo and Kamat of “conspiracy and collusion” with the ruling BJP to split the legislative wing of the old party.
The party also removed Lobo from the post of Leader of Opposition in the 40-member Assembly.
After some members of the Congress Legislature Party did not attend the press conference called by Rao on Sunday, Patkar on Monday filed a disqualification petition against Kamat and Lobo before Assembly Speaker Ramesh Tavkar.
When asked whether the disqualification petition would be withdrawn, Wasnik said, “You don’t ask all the questions now, let’s keep some later.” After the meeting on Monday night, Lobo told reporters that he was with the Congress and the party misunderstood him as he could not attend the press conference called on Sunday.
“All Congress MLAs are with the party. I told him that I do not want to continue as the leader of the opposition as I will not be able to do justice to the post,” he said.
He said senior leaders like Digambar Kamat or Sankalp Amonkar can be elected as LOP in the assembly.
(with agency input)