Lok Sabha Elections 2019: BJP gains two lawmakers from ally in Goa
Speaker Michael Lobo confirmed saying that his office was contacted by the two MLAs around 1:30 am when they walked in with a letter, and by 2 am their letters were officially accepted.
New Delhi: The Bhartiya Janata Party has successfully gained two of the three lawmakers of ruling ally Maharashtrawadi Gomantak Party (MGP) on Tuesday night.
Two of the three lawmakers of MGP merged their party with the BJP, which now has 14 lawmakers in the 36-member assembly. The 2 am-defection was sanctioned by acting Speaker Michael Lobo.
Meanwhile, the prospect of MGP’s Sudin Dhavalikar remaining the deputy chief Minister remains “doubtful” and in the hands of chief minister Pramod Sawant.
Speaker Michael Lobo confirmed saying that his office was contacted by the two MLAs around 1:30 am when they walked in with a letter, and by 2 am their letters were officially accepted. “I can at this stage confirm they are now officially with the BJP. The party is expected to officially issue a statement early morning,” confirmed Lobo. The two MGP MLAs were later accompanied by Tendulkar and Chief Minister Pramod Sawant to the office of the Speaker.
“We, Manohar Ajgaonkar and Deepak Pauskar have agreed to merge with the BJP. In view of sub-clause (2) of clause 4 of the 10th Schedule, and in view of the fact that we constitute 2/3rds of the members of the legislative party, such merger shall be deemed to have taken place,” the letter submitted by Manohar Ajgaonkar read.
MGP MLA Deepak Pauskar after merger of Maharashtrawadi Gomantak Legislative Party with BJP: Sudin Dhavalikar (Goa Deputy CM & MGP MLA) should be dropped now. He will be dropped during working hours today. #Goa https://t.co/wBjjprdudD
— ANI (@ANI) March 26, 2019
Criticised for facilitating the late night defection, Michael Lobo, the officiating Speaker, said: “See, the job of a Speaker is 24 hours. When an MLA wants to meet the Speaker, he has to be available. Both MLAs called me and wanted to meet me, in order to merge with the BJP. I had to meet them.”
The Congress has sharply reacted to the developments. “BJP has proved that it is a threat to all its allies,” Congress’s Goa chief spokesman Sunil Kawthankar said.