Goa: Congress files petitions with Speaker to disqualify MLAs Michael Lobo and Digambar Kamat

Congress's Goa desk in-charge Dinesh Gundu Rao had alleged that "Lobo and Kamat were hatching a conspiracy by hobnobbing with the BJP to engineer a split in the Congress."

AgenciesUpdated: Monday, July 11, 2022, 04:38 PM IST
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Porvorim: Congress MLAs Michael Lobo and Sankalp Amonkar during the first day of the Monsoon Session of the Goa Assembly, in Porvorim, Monday, July 11, 2022. | (PTI Photo)

Panaji: The Congress on Monday filed petitions with the Goa Assembly Speaker Ramesh Tawadkar seeking disqualification of its MLAs Michael Lobo and Digambar Kamat.

Goa Pradesh Congress Committee president Amit Patkar said disqualification petitions have been filed against Lobo and Kamat, adding that the Speaker had been informed about the party's decision to remove Lobo as Leader of Opposition in the Assembly.

"Disqualification petitions have been filed against both the MLAs as they have voluntarily given up membership of the party. There is a Supreme Court judgment which states that any anti-party activity amounts to giving up of the membership of the party." Patkar claimed.

He said the move by the BJP to split the Congress Legislative Party had failed as it could not muster the required numbers of legislators needed to do so without attracting anti-defection law provisions.

"The BJP wanted to repeat what they have done in Maharashtra through money and muscle power. We ensured on Sunday that the defection in our party stops," Patkar said.

The BJP is resorting to such tactics as it does not want any opposition in the states where they are ruling, Patkar alleged.

After going incommunicado, 5 Goa Cong MLAs attend Assembly session

Five Goa Congress MLAs, who went incommunicado a day before, attended the state Assembly proceedings on the first day of the monsoon session on Monday, and claimed there was "nothing wrong" in the opposition party.

On Sunday, out of the total 11 Congress MLAs in the state, five -- Michael Lobo, Digambar Kamat, Kedar Naik, Rajesh Faldesai and Delialah Lobo -- had gone incommunicado, a senior party leader earlier said.

The Congress subsequently removed Lobo from the post of Leader of Opposition in the 40-member state Assembly.

Congress's Goa desk in-charge Dinesh Gundu Rao had alleged that "Lobo and Kamat were hatching a conspiracy by hobnobbing with the BJP to engineer a split in the Congress."

Lobo denies possibility of walking over to BJP

Talking to reporters on Monday, Lobo claimed there was nothing wrong in the party.

"There is nothing wrong. I don't know what is the problem. All Congress MLAs were together. We went to South Goa for a meeting on Sunday. They (Congress leaders) again wanted to have another press conference which was not required, so we did not attend it," said Lobo, whose wife Delialah is also a Congress MLA.

"We have won on Congress ticket and we are with the Congress party. We are with the Congress party so the question does not arise of having so many press conferences. I had told them that I was not interested to continue as LoP. There are so many issues raised against me," he added.

(With ANI and PTI inputs)

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