After Karnataka, Congress loses 10 MLAs in Goa. Its leader is one of them

The Congress, which had lost out to the BJP despite emerging as the single largest group in the 2017 Goa state elections, suffered its most severe setback when 10 MLAs quit the party on Wednesday. The list of Congress lawmakers includes the Leader of Opposition Chandrakant Kavlekar.

The group of 10 MLAs led by Kavlekar has met state assembly Speaker Rajesh Patnekar to inform him about their decision to exit the party and form a separate group.

The 10 MLAs make up for two-thirds of the 15 Congress MLAs in the assembly and would be able to bypass the anti defection law.

It is still unclear if the splinter group intends to ‘merge’ with the BJP.

If this group of Congress rebels does join the BJP, Goa’s ruling party will have 27 MLAs in the 40-member assembly. That means, it will not be dependent on support of the Goa Forward Party and Independents who are part of the ruling coalition in the state.

The MLAs are yet to brief reporters about their move.

The total strength of the Goa Legislative Assembly is 40 while the BJP’s strength is 17. It has the support of the Goa Forward Party with three MLAs and three independents. All six of them are ministers.

Also read | Rebel Cong MLA manhandled after quitting seat. Kidnapped, says Yeddyurappa

First Published: Jul 10, 2019 20:05 IST

Updated: July 10, 2019 — 8:17 pm