In another mid-night political drama engineered by BJP, two of the three MLAs from the Maharashtrawadi Gomantak Party (MGP) joined ruling BJP in Goa, on early hours of today.
Goa Assembly Speaker Michael Lobo confirmed that he received a letter by MGP legislators Manohar Ajgeonkar and Dipak Pawaskar at 1.45 am for merging their legislature party with the BJP. With this merger, BJP now has the strength of 14 legislators in the 36-member House, equating opposition Congress which has an equal number of MLAs on the floor.
Notably, the MGP is an alliance partner of the BJP in Goa since 2012. “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,” a letter submitted by Ajgaonkar to the Deputy Speaker said.
Meanwhile, Sudin Dhavalikar, the third MGP MLA and deputy chief minister in the BJP-led Goa government, has not signed the letter. Speaking to reporters at the state legislative assembly complex Manohar Ajgaonkar said, that both he and Deepak Pauskar were kept away from the decision-making process in the MGP, which was the reason why the duo had decided to quit the regional party.
According to sources, Deputy Chief Minister will be dropped from the cabinet and these two MLAs will be inducted into the cabinet. The BJP has called for an emergency meeting of its MLAs and office bearers at its head office in Panaji later today, during which the merger of MGP MLAs into the party would be discussed.
” Congress’s Goa chief spokesman Sunil Kawthankar said. “This is a clear indication to all NDA partners all over country just before Lok sabha election that any partnership with BJP will be detrimental to the existence of their own party,” he added.