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Eight Goa Congress MLAs join BJP in presence of Chief Minister Pramod Sawant

CM Sawant says, ‘All of them have joined us unconditionally, impressed by PM Modi’s resolve to build a New India.

CM Sawant says, ‘All of them have joined us unconditionally, impressed by PM Modi’s resolve to build a New India.

Goa Chief Minister Pramod Sawant on Wednesday, September 14, 2022 said that eight Congress MLAs have unconditionally joined the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP).

Addressing a press conference along with state BJP president Sadanand Shet Tanawade, Sawant said that the BJP’s strength has gone up to 28 with eight new members in the 40-member assembly.

The Chief Minister said that eight out of 11 Congress MLAs, including former Chief Minister Digambar Kamat, have joined the BJP. The newly inducted members are Michael Lobo, Digambar Kamat, Delilah Lobo, Rajesh Faldesai, Kedar Naik, Sankalp Amonkar, Alexo Sequeira and Rudolph Fernandes. All eight Congress MLAs meet Goa Chief Minister Pramod Sawant in his chamber.

It may be recalled that in 2019, the Congress was similarly divided when 10 of its 17 MLAs found the BJP collectively.

CM Pramod Sawant, Goa BJP chief Sadanand Shet Tanawade and eight rebel Congress MLAs address press conference at BJP office in Panaji: “We welcome Congress MLAs who have joined us by watching Goa CM Pramod Sawant’s work . We offer them the primary membership of the BJP,” Mr. Tanawade said.

Welcoming the rebel Congress MLA, Goa CM said, ‘Congress’ India couple the journey has turned into a quit congress (Quit Congress) Travel in Goa. Impressed by PM Modi’s resolve to build a New India, all of them have come unconditionally with us. What has started in Goa will soon be seen across the country as Congress leaders leave to join the BJP. We are confident of winning both the Lok Sabha seats of Goa in 2024.

Destruction of democratic principles: Congress

The Congress reacted sharply to the development. Goa Congress in-charge Dinesh Gundu Rao termed it a “destruction of democratic principles”. “The destruction of democratic principles is in full display in Goa. BJP is trying to overthrow the opposition by giving huge money, ministries and inducements. Shameful use of power and money by an authoritarian establishment,” he tweeted.

Reacting to the defection of Congress MLAs, Goa Forward Party (GFP) chief Vijay Sardesai said that the rebel MLA has destroyed the faith of the people of Goa in democracy. BJP has completed the murder of democracy today, which started since then [late BJP leader] Manohar Parrikar passed away. Given the number of imported leaders with the party today, now the BJP cadre will also have to investigate who is the real BJP. Unfortunately, the people of Goa will have to bear the brunt of all this,” said Mr. Sardesai.

The GFP was an ally of the Congress in the Goa Assembly elections held in February this year.

Joined BJP after seeing PM Modi’s work: Kamati

Earlier, MLAs including Digambar Kamat, Michael Lobo, his wife Delilah Lobo, Rajesh Faldesai, Kedar Naik, Sankalp Amonkar, Alexo Sequeira and Rudolph Fernandes reached the Goa Assembly to submit their resignations.

Senior Congress leader and former CM Digambar Kamat said that circumstances forced him to take the decision. “Sometimes circumstances force you to take a decision in politics. I have accordingly taken a decision in the interest of the state. It was taken after seeing PM Modi’s work.” Mr Kamat, a seven-time MLA from Margao, was the chief ministerial face of the Congress during the Goa Assembly elections held in February this year.

In July this year, Rumors of split in Congress Goa’s desk in-charge Dinesh Gundu Rao said a major division within the party was being created by its senior leaders. Michael Lobo and former Chief Minister Digambar Kamati In coordination with the ruling BJP.

, With inputs from PTI)

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