The two Congress MLAs in Goa who switched over to the BJP explained their move by speaking of employment of youth and a “weak Congress future”, as they were introduced as BJP members at the party headquarters in Panaji. Earlier this week, Dayanand Sopte and Subhash Shirodkar were ferried to Delhi by another Congress rebel-turned-BJP minister Vishwajeet Rane. On Tuesday, they formally joined the BJP in the presence of Union Minister Piyush Goyal.
Speaking in Panaji on Friday, Shirodkar said, “I have spent 23 years in the Congress. Over the last 18 months I have closely seen that there is no unity there.”
Talking about the proposed grand alliance between various parties and the Congress to counter the BJP at the Centre, he said, “At the national level, the Congress position does not appear to be very firm. (SP president) Akhilesh (Yadav) has left us. (BSP supremo) Mayawati has left. About (Trinamool Congress chief) Mamata Banerjee, it can’t be said. So what’s left is Congress president (Rahul Gandhi), and of (TDP chief) N Chandrababu Naidu… and even (NCP) Sharad Pawar is 50-50.”
He added, “In this situation, to grow from 40 (seats) to 200 or 250 is not an achievable thing. So my constituency will remain backward for the next twenty years.”
Meanwhile, Sopte said his reason for joining the BJP was jobs in his constituency, which he attributed to the state government. “Despite being in the opposition, I got so many works sanctioned. Now that I am a part of the ruling party, my expectation is definitely more that what I achieved in the last 18 months. My constituency got 103 jobs,” he said.
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