The Goa Congress hit out at the BJP for poaching their MLAs, alleging that the party had offered its MLAs Rs 100 crore each to join the party and also threatened them with imprisonment if they did not.
Two Congress MLAs Dayanand Sopte and Subhash Shirodkar resigned from the party and are likely to join the BJP today evening.
A Congress leader in Goa who spoke to IndiaScoops.com on phone, said that the offer of Rs 100 crore was made to 3-4 Congress MLAs, after which two of them defected and resigned from the primary membership of the party today. BJP National President Amit Shah threatened our MLAs with dire consequences if they did not resign and join the BJP, the Congress leader said.
“Congress legislators Subhash Shirodkar and Dayanand Sopte faxed their resignations as members of the Assembly to my office. We have received their resignations,” Goa Assembly Speaker Pramod 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 told ANI after a meeting with the BJP chief Amit Shah in Delhi today. Both the legislators had gone to the national capital Monday night, fueling speculation that they might quit the Congress and join the BJP, reported PTI.
While Sopte, who defeated former BJP chief minister Laxmikant Parsekar in 2017 State legislative assembly election, represents Mandrem constituency, Shirodkar was elected on a Congress ticket from Shiroda constituency.
With this, the Congress’ strength in the 40-member Assembly is reduced to 14.
The development comes at a time when the Congress is trying to prove its majority in the Goa Assembly. Claiming that not all is well in the BJP-led coalition government, the Congress had demanded a confidence vote in the Goa Assembly. The BJP, with 14 MLAs is in alliance with the Goa Forward Party, Maharashtrawadi Gomantak Party, the NCP who have one member each. The alliance also has an independent candidate.
Meanwhile, Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar is currently being treated by doctors from state-run Goa Medical College and Hospital at his residence at Dona Paula. He returned to his home state on Sunday after brief treatment at AIIMS in Delhi.