Goa Speaker to issue notice to 8 defector MLAs over disqualification plea

Goa Assembly Speaker Ramesh Tawadkar said on Tuesday that next week he will issue notice to eight MLAs, who jumped ship from the Congress to the BJP earlier this year, over their disqualification petitions pending before him.

On November 11, two disqualification petitions against these eight MLAs, who joined the BJP on September 14, were filed before Tawadkar by former AICC Secretary Girish Chodankar and a person named Domnic Noronha.

“We want to study the matter. We will serve notice to these eight MLAs next week and will hear both the sides, the petitioners as well as the respondents,” Tawadkar told reporters here.

Meanwhile, Chodankar told IANS that the Speaker has delayed the process for no reason.

“Almost 25 days have passed, but still no notice has been issued. As per the law, the outer limit to dispose disqualification petition is three months,” Chodankar said.

However, Tawadkar said that the process is not delayed and he will issue notice next week.

On September 14, former Chief Minister Digambar Kamat, Michael Lobo, Delilah Lobo, Kedar Naik, Sankalp Amonkar, Rajesh Faldesai, Aleixo Sequeira and Rudolf Fernandes had quit the Congress and joined the BJP, reducing Congress’ strength in the 40-member Assembly to three.

Congress had alleged that Digambar Kamat and Michael Lobo had hatched a conspiracy by hobnobbing with the BJP to split Congress MLAs.

Terming the merger of these eight MLAs with the BJP as invalid, Chodankar had pleaded to disqualify them as members of Goa Assembly under Article 191 (2) Para 2 of the Constitution r/w Para 2 (1) (a) of 10th Schedule.

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