Stunned by the sudden announcement of defection and subsequent joining the BJP, Goa Congress reacted sharply over the defection of its MLAs, blaming BJP for “murdering the democracy” in India.
10 Congress MLAs along with Leader of the Opposition, Chandrakant Kavlekar announced their merger with the BJP on Wednesday evening, causing embarrassment and panic in the grand old party.
The break-away fraction met Assembly Speaker Rajesh Patnekar and handed him over a formal letter announcing split from the Congress.
In a late evening communique released by the former Goa Congress chief, Girish Chodankar blasted BJP for “destroying the democracy”.
“Those involved in this utterly shameful act of murdering Democracy will be punished by the people,” said Chodankar.
“Is this the new India that the BJP has been advocating after the Lok Sabha election?” he asked, blaming Goa Chief minister Pramod Sawant for “blackmailing and luring” Congress MLAs.
After split, Congress’ strength has reduced to 5 in 40 member Goa assembly. With this, BJP’s strength in the Assembly swelled to 27. Two Congress MLAs had joined the BJP earlier.
“They came with the resignations and I accepted,” Speaker Rajesh Patnekar was quoted as saying by the media.
Chief Minister Pramod Sawant who was present in the Assembly house, as per reports, welcomed the MLAs and said, “They had come for development of the state and their constituency. They have joined the BJP unconditionally.”
Sources in the BJP have indicated that a cabinet reshuffle may follow soon and many of the new entrants are likely to be inducted in the BJP led government in Goa.