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Sunday, January 23, 2022

Day after he quit BJP, Micheal Lobo joins Congress

This came hours after he said he was still in discussions with his supporters over which party to join.

Written by MAYURA JANWALKAR | Panaji |
Updated: January 12, 2022 7:57:34 am
Lobo was the first minister in the Pramod Sawant-led government to leave the BJP ahead of the February 14 Assembly polls.

Former Goa minister and two-time BJP MLA Micheal Lobo was inducted into the Congress on Tuesday evening, a day after he quit the Bharatiya Janata Party.

This came hours after he said he was still in discussions with his supporters over which party to join.

Besides Lobo, his wife Delilah Lobo, who is Sarpanch of the Parra village panchayat, and several of their supporters were inducted into the party. The ceremony put to rest speculation over the party rethinking Lobo’s entry.

Lobo was the first minister in the Pramod Sawant-led government to leave the BJP ahead of the February 14 Assembly polls. At his induction at the Congress House in Panaji, Lobo said the Congress-Goa Forward Party combine would win over 22 seats in the 40-member House.

“We have joined in the interest of Goa. The way forward for the people of Goa is only the Congress,” Lobo said.

He said Sawant who has repeatedly said “22 in 22” (22 seats in the 2022 election), was, in fact, speaking for the Congress. “We will definitely win more than 22 seats.”

Lobo, who severed his 15-year ties with the BJP on Monday, said: “When I was deputy Speaker I had taken a very strong stand. Defection has to end. You cannot switch sides. You have to resign.”

The Lobo couple joined the Congress with village panchayat members from Lobo’s constituency of Calangute and Siolim, from where Delilah is an election ticket aspirant.

Congress Goa desk in-charge Dinesh Gundu Rao said: “A very strong, powerful grass-root leader is joining the Congress party. He is connected to the common people, he works for them. He has established himself as a big leader not only in his constituency but all over the( Bardez) taluka….A big force has entered the Congress party.”

Rao added: “Some parties are working to ensure that the Congress does not get a full majority. They want a hung Assembly so they can play their games and benefit from political uncertainty. The intentions of political parties that have come recently are not for the good of Goa. They have no vision, no programme… there is a mischievous agenda behind it.”

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On Tuesday, former Maharashtrawadi Gomantak Party (MGP) MLA Lavoo Mamledar also joined Congress, two weeks after he quit the Trinamool Congress (TMC).

Among the first batch of Goan leaders to be inducted into the TMC, Mamledar had quit the Mamata Banerjee-led party alleging that the TMC-MGP combine was trying “to divide Goans on the basis of religion”.

the former MGP MLA from Ponda said the Prashant Kishor-led iPAC, which is running the TMC’s campaign, would send them scripts to mouth. He said he was told to attack GFP president Vijai Sardesai on the day he announced an alliance with the Congress.

After being inducted into the Congress Tuesday, Mamledar said that it would be the party’s decision to give him an election ticket or not. He, however, said that he was keen only on contesting from the Marcaim constituency, to unseat senior MGP MLA Ramkrishna alias Sudin Dhavalikar.

Goa minister, an independent, quits, joins BJP

Goa Tribal Welfare minister and independent MLA Govind Gaude Tuesday resigned as minister and MLA and joined the BJP. He said he would contest the Assembly election on a BJP ticket.

Gaude supported the BJP government as an independent after the 2017 assembly election. His announcement comes a day after the BJP saw its first minister and an MLA exit the party. Gaude is the fourth MLA to join the BJP. The ruling party has so far lost four MLAs to parties including the Congress, the AAP and the MGP.

“I want to work for all of Goa and I want to thank the BJP for the respect that they have given me. The BJP government at the Centre and the state has done many things in the interest of the poor and the Bahujan Samaj,” said Gaude. At Gaude’s induction ceremony in Panaji, Goa Chief Mininster Pramod Sawant said, ” The work he (Gaude) has done as art and culture minister and tribal welfare minister has been praiseworthy. Now we are confident that the BJP will definately win in Priol.” He said that Gaude’s entry would help the BJP not only in his own constituency but also in others.

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