GOA congress MLA’s may join BJP, says sources but party refuses claim    

According to sources speaking to CNN-News18, Goa Congress MLAs want to leave the party and join the BJP. There are now 11 MLAs in the Congress, and it is rumoured that some of them may defect to the BJP, which is in power.

A party gathering on Sunday witnessed a lower-than-expected turnout as the Congress in Goa sought to deny rumours of a developing uprising despite allegations of some leaders speaking with the ruling BJP the day before an assembly session.

Amit Patkar, the president of the Congress’s Goa branch, claimed that the BJP, which is in power, was spreading these rumours in advance of the assembly’s two-week Budget Session, according to news agency PTI.

“But in order to avoid embarrassing situations, the BJP-led government might curtail the monsoon session giving an excuse of code of conduct for panchayat polls. The BJP had curtailed the session this way during Zilla Parishad polls. Speaker Ramesh Tawadkar should not allow this,” he said.

Digambar Kamat, the party’s candidate for chief minister in the elections conducted earlier this year, reportedly missed a meeting of MLAs on Saturday.

The party denies that Mr. Kamat, a former chief minister, is disgruntled because Michael Lobo was named leader of the opposition.

According to some sources, Mr. Lobo, who defected from the BJP to the Congress just before the elections, is still in contact with his previous organisation.

In the meantime, the notification for the election to the position of Deputy Speaker, which was set for Tuesday, was cancelled by Goa Assembly Speaker Ramesh Tawadkar on Sunday.

In Goa’s 40-member assembly, the BJP-led National Democratic Alliance (NDA) is represented by 25 lawmakers, while the opposition Congress is represented by 11.

The last time the Congress had a split was in 2019, when the majority of its MLAs defected to the BJP, leaving the party with just four former Chief Ministers.

All of the party’s MLAs were had to sign a loyalty oath not to change sides during the Goa elections earlier this year.