A day after resigning from the Goa Congress Legislative Party (CLP), 10 MLAs officially joined BJP in the presence of working president JP Nadda in New Delhi on Thursday. The legislators joined the ranks of the saffron party amid protests from Congress leaders outside Parliament over the political crisis unfolding in the state along with Karnataka.
Top leaders including Sonia Gandhi, Rahul Gandhi and Anand Sharma, staged a protest carrying ‘Save Democracy’ placards near the Gandhi statue in the complex.
On Wednesday, in a dramatic turn of events, two-thirds (10 of the 15) MLAs of the CLP resigned and met the Speaker of the 40-member Assembly in their bid to merge with the ruling BJP. All resignations were accepted by Deputy Speaker Michael Lobo.
With this, the ruling BJP ‘s strength in the Assembly swells to 27, and the strength of the Congress which won 17 seats in 2017, stands reduced to five. Two Congress MLAs had joined the BJP earlier.
The Congress leadership has blamed the saffron party for the desertions from its ranks in both the states.
Goa CM Pramod Sawant met BJP president Amit Shah and both leaders are believed to have held deliberations over a reshuffle in the state Cabinet. There was no official word over what transpired in his meeting with Shah, also the Union home minister, at the latter’s office in Parliament. PTI quoting party sources said that a Cabinet reshuffle in Goa is likely with the induction of the 10 MLAs.
Chellakumar in town
A Chellakumar, All India Congress Committee secretary and the opposition party’s Goa in-charge, was sent to the coastal state to take stock of the situation after 10 of the party’s MLA’s decided to join BJP.
Chellakumar, who arrived in Panaji on Wednesday night and began discussions with the party’s remaining five legislators to decide the future course of action, news agency PTI reported.