Two Goa Congress legislators quit Assembly; expected to join BJP after meeting with Amit Shah

In a setback to the Congress in Goa, two of its legislators, Subhash Shirodkar and Dayanand Sopte have resigned as members of the state Assembly on Tuesday, Speaker Pramod Sawant said. The Congress lawmakers had earlier said that they would be joining the BJP on Tuesday after meeting party chief Amit Shah in Delhi. The development comes in after Goa chief minister Manohar Parrikar returned to the state on Sunday.

“Congress legislators Subhash Shirodkar and Dayanand Sopte faxed their resignations as members of the Assembly to my office. We have received their resignations,” Sawant told PTI. “We are joining BJP today. We expect 2-3 more MLAs to come, not today but in the coming days,” Subhash Shirodkar said, according to an NDTVreport. While Sopte, who defeated former BJP chief minister Laxmikant Parsekar in 2017 Assembly election, represents Mandrem constituency, Shirodkar was elected on a Congress ticket from Shiroda constituency.

Prior to the resignations of Sopte and Shirodkar, the Congress was the single largest party in the40-member state Assembly with 16 MLAs. Whereas the Parrikar government has the support of 23 MLAs comprising 14 BJP MLAs, three each from the Goa Forward Party and the Maharashtrawadi Gomantak Party as well as three Independents.

Goa is currently witnessing hectic political activities with Congress party petitioning President Ram Nath Kovind, seeking his intervention to ask Goa Governor Mridula Sinha to call them to form the government. BJP state core committee and party’s legislature party also met in Panaji on Monday. The meetings are happening at the backdrop of the poor health condition of Parrikar, who is currently being treated by doctors from state-run Goa Medical College and Hospital at his residence at Dona Paula.

Congress currently has 16 MLAs in the Goa Legislative Assembly. Their strength would be reduced to 14 if two legislators resign. BJP is having 14 MLAs while three each are from Goa Forward Party, Maharashtrawadi Gomantak Party and Independents. One legislator is from the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP).

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