Goa’s MLAs defect so often that they probably seem influenced by the US where marriages do not last, said Union Minister for Road Transport and Highways Nitin Gadkari on Thursday.
He was speaking at an event in Panaji — the last seat that goes to bypolls on May 19 with the last phase of Lok Sabha elections.
Ironically, it is the BJP which has poached five MLAs — three from the Congress and two from the Maharashtrawadi Gomantak Party (MGP) — since 2017 when the new government was formed after Manohar Parrikar returned to take over the state’s politics.
“Goa has broken all records in the country. Despite its cultured and intellectual population, Goa’s MLAs defect from parties so often here. It is probably influenced by the US. Marriages do not last in that country. They go here and there, like as if they are in a garden. Therefore, to keep these people, who are constantly looking for greener pastures, in one place and run a government is difficult,” Gadkari said.
Of the three seats held by legislators who have joined the BJP, two went for polls this month. The coalition’s fate depends on their win.
Gadkari also said that Chief Minister Pramod Sawant has a tough time holding the flock together because of the defections. Till his last breath, Parrikar kept urging voters to opt for a majority government as toppling the government with defections in a small state was a regular worry, he said.
Panaji will also see former RSS leader Subash Velingkar challenging the BJP with Gadkari claiming that his votes are essentially to “split BJP votes and help the Congress win elections”.