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Congress caught off guard in Goa as 10 of 15 MLAs merge with BJP

The strength of the Congress in the House would be reduced to 5

By PTI in Panaji
  • Published 10.07.19, 9:52 PM
  • Updated 10.07.19, 9:52 PM
  • a min read
Congress members in the 40-member Goa Assembly arrive to meet Speaker Rajesh Patnekar in Panaji on Wednesday, July 10, 2019. (PTI)

Winds of political instability in neighbouring Karnataka reached Goa on Wednesday, with 10 of 15 Congress legislators breaking away to merge with the ruling BJP in the coastal state.

The group, led by Leader of Opposition Chandrakant Kavlekar, met Assembly Speaker Rajesh Patnekar in the evening and gave him a letter, informing him about their 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.

Chief Minister Pramod Sawant, who was present when the group arrived at the Assembly complex, said the 10 legislators have merged with the BJP.

With the 10 MLAs changing sides, the strength of the Congress in the House would be reduced to five.

BJP is the single largest party with 17, Goa Forward Party and Independents have three each, while one each from NCP and MGP.

When asked, Kavlekar refused to give reason behind their move, but said that they will make a statement later in the evening.

Sawant was sworn in as chief minister in March this year, after the death of then CM Manohar Parrikar.