Eight Congress MLAs, including former CM Digambar Kamat and leader of the opposition Michael Lobo, will join the BJP on Wednesday (September 24) in Goa, state BJP chief Sadanand Shet Tanavade said. This leaves the Congress with three MLAs in the state.
The MLAs who are likely to join the saffron party include Digambar Kamat, Michael Lobo, Delilah Lobo, Rajesh Phaldesai, Kedar Naik, Sankalp Amonkar, Aleixo Sequeira and Rudolf Fernandes. They also met with CM Pramod Sawant, as reported by news agency ANI.
Senior Congress leader Manish Tewari had earlier hinted at the development. He tweeted, "A cuckoo bird is chiming Something is apparently cooking in an erstwhile Portuguese Territory . Does not smell good.! Hope the cuckoo bird is wrong."
In the 40-member Goa Assembly, the Congress had 11 legislators and the BJP had 20. In a similar move in July 2019, 10 Congress MLAs switched over to the BJP.
Meanwhile, BJP IT Cell chief Amit Malviya took a jibe at Rahul Gandhi and the party's Bharat Jodo Yatra saying, "Rahul Gandhi must focus on saving the Congress. 8 Goa MLAs deciding to dump the Congress at a time when Rahul Gandhi is on the road, shows how disconnected he is. There are several states where the Congress doesn’t have even a single MLA and a marginal presence in several others."