Amid the ongoing power tussle in Goa, two of the 16 Congress legislators flew abroad on Thursday. Legislators Jennifer Monserrate and Filipe Neri Rodrigues left for China and Europe respectively amid media reports that several Congress leaders were willing to switch over to the BJP.
Chief minister Manohar Parrikar, who has been diagnosed with advanced pancreatic cancer, has been away in Delhi for treatment. His health has raised doubts about leadership in Goa.
The ruling party is in the process of finding an alternative and is under pressure from alliance partners for a bigger share in power.
State Congress President Girish Chodankar, however, said: "Rodrigues and Monserrate have gone out of station with the knowledge of the party as per pre-scheduled programmes. They will be in Goa at 48-hour notice whenever the party needs them."
The Congress is the single largest party in the 40-member Goa Assembly with 16 MLAs, while the BJP with 14 MLAs is supported by three members each of Goa Forward Party and the Maharashtrawadi Gomantak Party, the lone Nationalist Congress Party legislator and three Independents.
What queers the pitch in the numbers game, however, is the health of three BJP leaders .Mr Parrikar and Urban Development Minister Francis D'Souza are being treated for cancer, and Power Minister Pandurang Madkaikar has been bed-ridden after a brainstroke.