It appears like the winds of political instability have travelled from Karnataka to neighbouring Goa on Wednesday evening with two-thirds (10 out of 15) of Congress MLAs breaking away to merge with the ruling BJP.
As per inputs, the group of the 10 Congress MLAs is led by Leader of Opposition Chandrakant Kavlekar who met Assembly Speaker Rajesh Patnekar in the evening and gave him a letter, informing him about the MLAs breaking away from the party.
The MLAs include Atanasio Monserratte, Jeniffer Monserratte, Francis Silveira, Philip Nery Rodrigues, Cleaofacio Dias, Wilfred DSa, Nilkant Halarnkar and Isidor Fernandes. When asked, Leader of Opposition Kavlekar refused to give a reason behind their move.
With 10 Congress MLAs joining hands with the BJP party, the strength of the Grand Old Party would be reduced to five in the House. Currently, BJP is the single largest party with 17 MLAs in the 40-member Assembly, along with Goa Forward Party and Independents having three MLAs each, while one MLA each from NCP and MGP.
After the 10 Congress MLAs merging with BJP, the strength of the saffron party has increased to 27 from 17.
Speaking over the development, Goa CM Pramod Sawant said that the Congress MLAs have merged with BJP unconditionally, as they joined hands for the development of the state and their constituency.
"10 Congress MLAs, along with their Opposition Leader, have merged with BJP. Strength of BJP has now risen to 27. They had come for the development of the state and their constituency. They have not put forward any condition, they have joined BJP unconditionally," said Pramod Sawant.
Earlier in June, Goa BJP chief Vinay Tendulkar had claimed that 10 state Congress MLAs expressed their willingness in the last fortnight join the Saffron party. However, BJP had refused to accept them into the party-fold saying that it had a comfortable majority in the Assembly.
Meanwhile, in Karnataka, the ruling JD(S)-Congress Kumaraswamy government is in dwindle after a series of resignations from both Congress and JD(S) MLAs. On Wednesday, two other Congress MLAs resigned, bringing the total number of resignations tendered to 16 MLAs.
(With agency inputs)