Panaji, July 11: A group of ten Congress MLAs in Goa led by Leader of Opposition in the Assembly Chandrakant Kavlekar merged with the ruling BJP, increasing Bharatiya Janata Party’s strength to 27 in the 40-seat house, further effecting a two-third merger.
Following this, Goa CM Pramod Sawant arrived at the Parliament with 2 of the 10 Congress MLAs who merged with BJP. "The MLAs are set to meet BJP President Amit Shah and working president JP Nadda", said CM Sawant clearing the fact that Congress's 10 MLAs had come forward and that BJP did not break their MLAs.
Late on Wednesday, 10 Congress MLAs met assembly speaker Rajesh Patnekar with Goa CM Dr Pramod Sawant and merged their faction into the BJP. The BJP government under Sawant, who replaced Manohar Parrikar after his death in March, had 17 legislators and had to depend on the support of independents and GFP.
Patnekar confirmed receiving a letter from the 10 MLAs for merger with BJP and said that he had accepted it. “The Congress MLAs had expressed willingness to join the BJP. The BJP’s numbers have gone up to 27 on the floor of the House”, said CM Sawant on the merger.
Reacting sharply to this, Utpal Parrikar, son of late Manohar Parrikar, said that BJP had taken a different direction after his father's demise and that only time would tell whether it was the right one.