Ten Goa Congress MLAs who had merged with Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) on Wednesday arrived in Delhi along with Chief Minister Pramod Sawant on early morning on Thursday.
The Goa delegation will go to Goa Sadan from Goa Niwas to meet Pramod Sawant. They will then meet BJP chief Amit Shah and working President JP Nadda. As per sources, they will be given ministerial berths after reshuffle in Goa cabinet, say sources.
Ten out of fifteen Congress MLAs broke away to merge with the ruling BJP. The group of the 10 Congress MLAs, sources said, 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 merged with the BJP, the strength of the saffron party will 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.
The Congress-JD(S) coalition government in Karnataka suffered a setback in the state after 16 MLAs resigned and are camping in Mumbai. While all Congress-JD(S) MLAs in the cabinet quit their post to accommodate the dissneting MLAs, the rebel MLAs seem relentless. They did not meet DK Shivakumar who is knowm to be a troubleshooter in Karnataka Congress on Wednesday.