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Two of the three MGP MLAs in Goa early Wednesday merged their party's legislative wing with the BJP, which now has 14 legislators in the 40-member state assembly.
Legislators Manohar Ajgaonkar and Dipak Pawaskar gave a letter to merge the MGP legislature party with the BJP to officiating Goa Assembly Speaker Michael Lobo at 1:45 am.
The Legislature Secretary issued an order merging the MGP Legislature Party with the BJP.
the letter to the speaker stated “The total strength of the legislators of the Maharashtrawadi Gomantak Legislative Party is three members and we constitute of 2/3rd of the members. We, Manohar Ajgaonkar and Deepak Pauskar have agreed to merge with the Bharatiya Janata Party."
"In view of sub-clause (2) of clause 4 of the tenth schedule (anti-defection law), and in view of the fact that we constitute 2/3rd members of the legislative party, such merger shall be deemed to have taken place,” Letter included.
The move has isolated MGP’s preeminent leader and PWD Minister Sudin Dhavalikar who now, it appears will be dropped from the Goa cabinet and will no longer be a member of the ruling alliance.
The move will also bring the BJP’s numbers in the house to 14, the same as that of the Congress who’s current strength is 36. Along with the support of the Goa Foward Party and the Independents, the BJP led coalition government enjoys the support of 20 MLAs including the Speaker.
Speaking earlier on Monday, State BJP president Vinay Tendulkar recalled how BJP union minister Nitin Gadkari himself spoke to Deepak Dhavalikar over the phone and requested him to withdraw his campaign for the Shiroda seat.
“He agreed to do it but we noticed that Deepak has resumed his campaign for the Shiroda seat. We have informed the High Command of the development,” Tendulkar told a press conference on Monday.