Just two months after the Congress appeared to have stopped the defection attempt, eight of its 11 MLAs led by top leaders Digambar Kamat and Michael Lobo joined the ruling BJP, reducing the opposition party to There are only 3 members in the 40-member House of Representatives. defection – a 2019 bill for the Goa Parliament – is extremely embarrassing for the party in the middle of Rahul Gandhi’s ‘Bharat Jodo Yatra’ (March of India), at which the BJP retorted: “Jodo (Unity) your party first. “
With eight MLAs split into one group – that’s two-thirds of the party’s power – they can’t be disqualified under the anti-destroy laws. These include Michael Lobo’s wife Delilah Lobo, Rajesh Phaldesai, Kedar Naik, Sankalp Amonkar, Aleixo Sequeira and Rudolf Fernandes.
“It’s the National Assembly chhoro (abandoned Congress), BJP no jodo“, quipped Michael Lobo as the MLA announced their transition in another so-called ‘Operation Lotus’, named after the BJP probe icon.
“It’s ‘Activity Kichad (Mud) “, Parliament spokesman Pawan Khera reacted.” The BJP used all sorts of tactics – central probes, threats with goons, soliciting money – to do this, because it was shaken by Bharat Jodo Yatra. The Goa Forward Party also responded with disdain, saying that defectors MLAs were “symbols of pure evil”.
Digambar Kamat and Michael Lobo were also at the center of switch speculation in July, and Congress even asked speakers to remove them under anti-defection laws. The party has removed Michael Lobo as Leader of the Opposition, but no replacement has been named.
This morning, the MLA’s meeting with the Speaker raised speculation because the meeting was not in session. Sadanand state BJP head Shet Tanavade later told PTI news agency that they would join the party.
In July Mr Kamat, a former minister, said he was “shocked and stunned” by allegations of leading a department. Even Michael Lobo, who was in the BJP before entering Congress before the election earlier this year, has stated “there are not any divisions”.
Today, Mr. Kamat said, “We are not satisfied with the National Assembly. We have seen what happened to Ghulam Nabi Azad”, referring to the senior leader who recently quit the party while questioning the situation. Rahul Gandhi’s political acumen. “We will work with PM Narendra Modi and Goa CM Pramod Sawant to improve the situation.”
The Goa Congress disbanded in a similar fashion in 2019, when two-thirds of its rallying power – 10 out of 15 MLAs – defected to the BJP, which is why this year’s party made candidates mine an oath of allegiance in the presence of Rahul Gandhi. Apparently that didn’t work for at least eight of them.
The defection was not out of the question although in July Congress managed to keep at least seven of its MLAs with it. There were no final moves by four other people, including – other than Mr Lobo and Mr Kamat – Kedar Naik and Delilah Lobo, Mr. Lobo’s wife.
Senior leader Mukul Wasnik has been appointed by Parliament Speaker Sonia Gandhi to handle the crisis, and he seems to have prevented it. Or not quite, according to what happened today.
In the Goa assembly, the BJP has a 25-member majority in its own 40 – 20 MLA House of Representatives, 2 from the Maharashtrawadi Gomantak Party and 3 independents. Now that number will go up to 33. The Congress has three people left, plus one from the Goa Striker Party. The Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) has two MLAs and the Revolutionary Goans Party has one.