Goa Speaker rejects Cong’s plea to disqualify 12 BJP MLAS


In a reprieve to the ruling BJP, Speaker of the Goa legislative assembly passed two oral orders on Tuesday, dismissed two disqualification petitions filed against 12 BJP MLAs.

The petitioners, state Congress president Girish Chodankar and Maharashtrawadi Gomantak Party MLAs Sudin Dhavalikar said that they would take a call on future course of action, after going through the written order, a copy of which has not been made available to them yet.

“Now that an order has been passed, we have various options. Our legal team is assessing options. We will either challenge the Speaker’s order in High Court or mention it in SC when the matter comes up there,” Chodankar told reporters after emerging from the state assembly complex, where the Speaker dismissed his petition against 10 Congress MLAs.

Chodankar, as the party’s state president had filed a disqualification petition with the Goa Speaker’s office in 2019 and argued the split by the 10 Congress MLAs and their subsequent merger into the BJP was illegal and violative of the provisions of Schedule 10 of the Indian Constitution. Chodankar had approached the Supreme Court, claiming that Patnekar was delaying his decision, after which the apex court directed the Speaker to pronounce his order on April 20.

Dhavalikar, who had filed a petition against two BJP MLAs, who had quit the MGP to join the ruling party, also told reporters that Patnekar had dismissed his petition. “Our lawyers will decide once we read the order. We have not got it yet,” Patnekar said.

BJP MLAs Manohar Ajgaonkar and Deepak Prabhu Pauskar, were elected to the state assembly in 2017 on an MGP ticket, but later split from the regional party and joined the Bharatiya Janata Party in 2019. Dhavalikar, who continues to be the lone MGP in the state assembly, later filed a disqualification petition against the duo.