Two Congress legislators in Goa quit, join BJP

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New Delhi, Oct 16 (IANS) Hours after resigning as members of Goa Assembly, Congress legislators, Subhash Shirodkar and Dayanand Sopte, on Tuesday joined the BJP in the presence of Union Minister Piyush Goyal.

“Both the strong leaders will strengthen the hands of Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar in Goa. I welcome and congratulate them for joining BJP,” Goyal said.

Union Minister Shripad Yesso Naik, Goa BJP President Vinay Tendulkar and Health Minister in the BJP-led coalition government in Goa Vishwajit Rane were also present at the party headquarters.

The two Congress MLAs earlier met BJP chief Amit Shah and soon after resigned from the state Assembly.

Goa Assembly Speaker Pramod Sawand accepted their resignations after talking to them on phone as they had faxed their resignations.

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The latest spell of political instability in Goa has been triggered by an ailing Parrikar, with coalition allies beginning to clamour for meaty portfolios and the BJP readying alternatives to the former Defence Minister, who is suffering from advanced pancreatic cancer.

The resignations also dulled the Congress’ strategic advantage as the single largest party in the 38-member Goa Legislative Assembly, bringing its legislative strength at par with the BJP’s 14.

The incumbent BJP-led coalition government has 14 BJP MLAs, supported by three MLAs each from the Goa Forward, Maharashtrawadi Gomantak Party, three Independent MLAs and Nationalist Congress Party MLA Churchill Alemao.

–IANS

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