Goa Cong MPs miss the ‘twin-engine’ train twice, failing to get the numbers right


By Sanjay Borkar

Panaji, Sep 11 (IANS): With two failed attempts to catch the ‘twin engine political train’, Congress MPs in Goa interested in switching sides still haven’t given up hope.

Both times they reportedly decided to join the ruling BJP, they failed to secure a two-thirds majority.

On July 10, 2019, during the last term of the BJP government, 10 Congress MPs along with opposition leader Chandrakant Kavalekar switched to the BJP. However, Kavalekar and six other politicians lost the assembly elections held in February 2022. The opposition leader joining the ruling party had drawn criticism from part of society.

As the example of party switching was set by the seniors, some old faces in Congress as well as the new faces elected in 2022 attempted to defect on July 10, 2022. However, the early intervention of the central leadership of Congress foiled their plans. . Since then, members of the Congressional office have been closely monitoring political events.

Another move of these defecting MPs was also foiled during Ganesh Chaturthi as they could not handle an ‘eighth’ MP. Congress has 11 deputies in the 40-member legislature and needs 8 deputies (two-thirds) to switch sides.

Speaking to IANS, a central Congress leader said that due to the digital deficit, their second attempt also failed. “Now if they want to join the BJP, they will have to resign and leave, a risk they will not take,” the leader said on condition of anonymity.

Interestingly, it is not only the Congress leadership that wants these MPs to stay in the party, but even some BJP ministers want the same as they fear they will be fired from the cabinet to accommodate the newcomers.

Recently, it was reported that Congress MPs Digambar Kamat and Michael Lobo, against whom the party filed a notice of disqualification alleging they attempted to split the party, were in Delhi to meet with BJP leaders. However, both have denied it, saying they have a strong presence in Congress.

On July 9, 2022, amid speculation that some Congress MPs were camping in Delhi and had held talks with BJP leaders to join their group, Goa Congress Responsible Office Dinesh Gundu Rao said he it was just rumours. But soon Rao had arrived in Goa to persuade MPs who had decided to join the BJP.

On July 10, Rao claimed that the BJP was attempting a two-thirds split in Congress.

Rao had attacked the BJP for allegedly offering MPs money to defect. “Despite offering huge money, six of our MPs stood firm. I am proud of them. BJP was trying to split two-thirds in Congress, so at least 8 MPs must quit the party,” he said. -he declares. had said.

On the same day, the Congress removed Michael Lobo as opposition leader, alleging that he hatched the plot, together with former chief minister Digambar Kamat, by associating with the BJP to divide the Congress.

On July 11, the BJP unit in Goa dismissed allegations that they were trying to divide Congress MPs and said their leaders were at home as political developments continued.

“We have no role in this development, only Congress can tell you that. I have no information if anyone joins, if anyone comes, we will see. Congress has made many allegations. Can “Maybe they were trying to keep their MPs united when the assembly session started from today,” BJP state chairman Sadanand Tanavade had told reporters.

However, the head of the BJP’s Goa office, CT Ravi, had said on May 28 that five opposition MPs wanted to join the ruling party.

On July 11, Congress also filed a motion for disqualification with the Speaker of the Assembly against former Chief Minister Digambar Kamat and Michael Lobo for anti-party activities. This indicates that “all is not well” in the Congressional camp and that they have no confidence in the deputies whom they consider to be “defectors”.

A political analyst says those who decided to join the BJP will do it again in the future as this is about power and the BJP needs more strength to win the two Lok Sabha seats in 2024 .

Congress leader Mukul Wasnik and Dinesh Gundu Rao are due to travel to Goa on September 11 or 12 to choose the opposition leader and take stock of the political situation. They will also dissuade their deputies from boarding a “twin-engine” train in the future.

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