Goa Congress Crisis: Removed LOP Michael Lobo Denies ‘Amalgamation’ With BJP

Panaji (Goa): Michael Lobo, who was sacked by the Congress as Leader of Opposition in Goa for conspiring with the BJP to defect to the party, on Monday denied any “hypnosis” with the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party, saying he Still with the oldest party and simply not attending a press conference cannot be treated as grounds for disqualification. Amid claims and counterclaims on the split in Goa Congress, Michael Lobo said, “No, there is no attachment (with the BJP). I think someone wants to be the leader of the opposition and that’s why they are doing it.” “It (meeting Mukul Wasnik) was not a CLP meeting. Senior Congress Rajya Sabha members had come here to discuss the developments in the state. I have told them that we are with the Congress party,” he said.

“Not attending a press conference cannot be grounds for disqualification,” said Michael Lobo. He was removed from the post of Goa LOP by the Congress on Sunday for conspiring with the BJP over a disqualification petition against him. “Deputy CLP Sankalp Amonkar mentioned in the House that all 11 MLAs (of Congress) are inside. But 7 of them attended our meeting yesterday and today. We have called CLP meeting again this evening, let’s see how many Members come in that,” said Goa Congress chief Amit Patkar.

Congress leader Mukul Wasnik, who is in Goa to oversee the latest political developments in the state, said that he held a meeting with all Congress party MLAs in Goa where they discussed how to strengthen the Congress party in the state. Mukul Wasnik said, “I held a meeting with all Congress party MLAs in Goa. Discussions were held on how to strengthen the Congress party in the state.”

Read also: Goa Congress crisis: Sonia Gandhi sends Mukul Wasnik on ‘defection’ in the state unit

According to him, Congress MLAs have shown the BJP that they cannot be broken. Wasnik said, “Some people want to break the MLAs of various political parties especially Congress. They tried to do the same with our party in Goa, but Congress MLAs showed them that they are going to fail miserably here. Huh.”

Goa said, “Congress has the responsibility to take care of its MLAs. We have not asked anyone to come. As the state president, no one is in touch with me. It is their internal fight. We have nothing to do with it. Has nothing to do with it.” BJP President Sadanand Shet Tanwade.

Concerned over the conspiracy of defection by the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), Congress interim president Sonia Gandhi has asked party MP Mukul Wasnik to visit the coastal state to monitor the latest political developments.

The Congress on Sunday also sacked Michael Lobo from the post of Leader of Opposition in the Goa Legislative Assembly. The Congress said that the BJP is trying to split 2/3 and has offered huge amount of money to the party MLAs.

Earlier, Congress MLA Sankalp Amonkar said, “This is murder of democracy. The BJP government wants to eliminate the opposition. They wanted 2/3 of our MLAs to merge with them but our MLAs didn’t let it happen. Now We have a meeting to elect a new CLP leader. As of now, all 11 MLAs are in Congress.”

The Congress alleged that Lobo along with Digambar Kamat hatched a defection conspiracy in “total coordination” with the BJP. Congress MLA and Michael Lobo’s wife Delilah Lobo was seen leaving the residence of CM and BJP leader Pramod Sawant on Sunday. When asked whether Congress MLAs had come to meet him, Goa CM Pramod Sawant said, “As Chief Minister, many people come to meet me. Tomorrow is the Vidhan Sabha, people came to meet me. I am in my assembly work. I am busy… why would I comment on issues related to other parties?”