Goa Congress Rebels "Came To Us For Development": BJP Rejects Allegations

The Congress in Goa is now left with only five lawmakers in the 40-member state assembly, facing a near-similar fate of its counterpart in Karnataka.

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New Delhi: 

Ten out of 15 Congress lawmakers split from the party and joined the BJP, are in Delhi to meet BJP chief Amit Shah. Chief Minister Pramod Sawant, who accompanied the turncoats to the capital, said the lawmakers were not pressured to join the BJP. "All the MLAs have come to us for the sake of development. They have come on their own for the development of their constituencies and the state... They came willingly and so gave let them in. They have given unconditional support to the BJP government," Mr Sawant told NDTV.

The ten lawmakers will be introduced to Amit Shah and JP Nadda, who is the BJP's working president.

When asked if a cabinet reshuffle was likely, Mr Sawant said that the decision would be taken by the party's top leadership.

The Congress in Goa is now left with only five lawmakers in the 40-member state assembly, facing a near-similar fate of its counterpart in Karnataka. The Congress had emerged the single largest party in 2017. The BJP now has 17 lawmakers in the assembly.

Wednesday's mass cross-over was led by rebel lawmaker Chandrakant Kavlekar.

The lawmakers who broke away are Babu Kavalekar, Babush Monserratte, his wife Jennifer Monserrate, Tony Fernandes, Francis Silveira, Filipe Neri Rodrigues, Clafasio, Wilfred De Sa, Nilkant Halankar and Isidore Fernandes. As they met the Speaker on Wednesday, Chief Minister Sawant was present.

The Congress' five lawmakers, four of them being former chief ministers, are left with the challenging  task of cornering the BJP-led coalition government when the monsoon session of the Goa assembly begins on July 15.

Last month, the Congress suffered a similar collapse in Telangana, where 12 of its 18 lawmakers crossed over to Chief Minister K Chandrashekar Rao's party.

The Goa crisis has emerged as the Congress fights for survival in Karnataka, where its coalition with the Janata Dal Secular (JDS) is dangerously close to a collapse after 18 exits.



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