Goa chief minister in Delhi with MLAs to meet Amit Shah

The MLAs, who switched sides on Wednesday, formally joined the BJP at the party headquarters here

By PTI in New Delhi
  • Published 12.07.19, 7:43 AM
  • Updated 12.07.19, 7:43 AM
  • a min read
  •  
With the Congress accusing the BJP of “murder of democracy”, Pramod Sawant said they had joined his party “willingly” and “unconditionally”. (File picture)

 Goa chief minister Pramod Sawant arrived in New Delhi on Thursday with 10 Congress MLAs who have defected to the BJP, and met party chief Amit Shah and working president J.P. Nadda.

The MLAs, who switched sides on Wednesday, formally joined the BJP at the party headquarters here.

Sawant met the party top brass amid talk that a cabinet shuffle in Goa was likely soon to accommodate the defectors.

Some existing ministers will have to be dropped, possibly allies who until now were crucial to the BJP government’s survival in the state, sources said.

The defection of 10 Congress MLAs has taken the BJP’s numbers to 27 in the 40-member Assembly and it no longer needs the allies, including Goa Forward party and Independents.

With the Congress accusing the BJP of “murder of democracy”, Sawant said they had joined his party “willingly” and “unconditionally”. They want to push development work in the state, he said.

Chandrakant Kavlekar, who was the leader of the Opposition in the Assembly before he spearheaded a coup in his own party and joined the BJP along with nine other MLAs, told reporters they wanted development in their constituencies and that was not possible if they were in the Opposition.

The Congress had emerged the largest party after the 2017 Assembly polls, with 17 MLAs. But the BJP, which won 13 seats, came to power by cobbling a coalition quickly. The Congress’s strength is now only five.