A group of ten Goa Congress MLAs, who merged with the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), increasing the saffron party's strength to 27 in the 40-seat house, have left for Delhi along with Goa Chief Minister Pramod Sawant to meet Union Home Minister and BJP president Amit Shah and the BJP's working president J P Nadda. Yesterday, Goa Speaker gave a go-ahead to the merger as the total number of defected MLAs was two-thirds of the Congress MLAs in the state.
The Congress, which had emerged as a single-largest party after 2017 Assembly polls in the coastal state, is now reduced to five legislators.
This comes even before the situation in Karnataka could be resolved and MLAs continued to resign even on Wednesday. The Goa MLAs, led by Leader of Opposition Chandrakant Kavlekar, met the Speaker Rajesh Patnekar on Wednesday evening and gave him a letter informing him about them breaking away from the Congress. Sawant later met the MLAs and welcomed them into the party.
However, the rebel Congress MLAs are yet to make a statement on the sudden shift. The MLAs include Atanasio Monserratte, Jeniffer Monserratte, Francis Silveira, Philip Nery Rodrigues, Cleaofacio Dias, Wilfred DSa, Nilkant Halarnkar and Isidor Fernandes. The present strength of the Congress party in Goa is 15. With this, the party is left with only five MLAs. BJP is the single largest party with 17, Goa Forward Party and Independents have three each, while one MLA each is from NCP and MGP.