The Goa unit of the Congress will file a petition before Legislative Assembly Speaker Rajesh Patnekar on Thursday seeking the disqualification of 10 of its former MLAs, who joined the Bharatiya Janata Party in July, PTI reported. Goa Pradesh Congress Committee President Girish Chodankar said the petition will be filed under the Tenth Schedule of the Indian Constitution as the legislators have violated the anti-defection law.
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.
The Congress was the single largest party in Goa after the 2017 elections to the 40-member Assembly, but the BJP had formed alliances to come to power. Following the defection of MLAs, the Congress’ strength in the Goa Assembly fell to just five legislators, while the BJP had 27 MLAs.
Patnekar had said two letters were given to him – one by the Congress MLAs and the other one by Chief Minister Pramod Sawant saying that the strength of BJP had gone up. “I have accepted both the letters,” he was quoted as saying.