Crisis in Goa Cong: Sidelined Kamat, Lobo have BJP roots (Ld)

The Goa crisis in Congress has been engineered by two leaders who have come from the BJP and now want to make “Ghar Wapsi”, say party sources.

Former Chief Minister Digambar Kamat was sidelined in the Congress after election results and the party chose to make another former BJP leader Michael Lobo as Leader of opposition that triggered revolt. Now both Kamat and Lobo have joined hands to give a blow to the Congress.

Kamat started his political career from the Congress, joined the BJP and then again crossed to the Congress in 2005. He was made the Chief Minister in 2007 after ignoring Pratap Singh Rane, Luizinho Falerio and other senior leaders.

Lobo joined the Congress from the BJP just ahead of the recent Assembly elections. After initially being appointed as the Leader of Opposition, Lobo was removed from the post.

Veteran Congress leader Dinesh Gundu Rao has alleged that Kamat and Lobo have hatched a conspiracy to break the party. After this, the Congress is going to take action against both.

The Congress was fighting a crisis in Goa where its unit is facing a threat of defection after half of the MLAs did not turn up in the legislative party meeting.

The Congress has sent party General Secretary Mukul Wasnik to get the house in order.

The party has blamed former Chief Minister Digambar Kamat and Michael Lobo for the situation, and will take action against them.

The development comes on the heels of Maharashtra where the party has sent Mohan Prakash to report to the party high command.

Maharashtra Congress president Nana Patole has sought disciplinary action against the errant legislators who may have cross-voted in the MLC polls and also against 11 others, including former Chief Minister Ashok Chavan — for absenteeism during the Shinde government’s vote of confidence on July 4.

Maharashtra Congress working president Arif Naseem Khan has pointed out to the party top brass how Chandrakant Handore — the Congress official candidate was allotted 29 votes against the 26 quota, but secured only 22, indicating a cross-voting by at least seven party MLAs.

Earlier, former CM Prithviraj Chavan had also accused seven Congress MLAs of allegedly cross-voting and demanded action against them.

Last month’s fast-paced developments, starting with the Rajya Sabha (June 10) and MLC (June 20) polls saw the erstwhile Maha Vikas Aghadi nominees suffering major reverses with the Bharatiya Janata Party getting advantage on both occasions.

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