2 Congress MLAs In Goa Quit Party To Join BJP, Predict '2-3 More Legislators' To Follow

| October 16 , 2018 , 14:55 IST

In a big blow to the Congress party in Goa, it has lost its advantage of being the single largest party in the state after 2 of its lawmakers, Dayanand Sopte and Subhash Shirodkar, quit the party on Tuesday and announced they were joining the BJP, predicting that 2-3 more legislators would follow.

Subhash Shirodkar in a statement to media after meeting with BJP national president Amit Shah on Monday said, "We are joining BJP today. We expect two-three more legislators to come, not today but in the coming days."

After the resignation of Sopte and Shirodkar, the Congress party has lost its status as the single largest party in Goa, where it was unable to form government due to a coalition between BJP and other regional parties.

The loss of the 2 MLAs to the Congress comes at a time that the party had been mustering numbers to call for reformation of the government over the extended absences of Goa Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar who has been undergoing treatment for health issues.

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Goa Assembly speaker Pramod Sawant confirmed the resignation of Sopte and Shirodkar in a statement to media.

"I received resignation from 2 Congress MLAs Dayanand Sopte and Subhash Shirodkar. They confirmed they're doing this willingly, without any pressure. I accepted the resignations. Process will be completed, copies will be sent to all members of House, Guv and EC," said Sawant.

"Strength of the assembly now is 38. Party strength is BJP 14, Congress 14, MGP 3, Goa Forward 3, NCP 1, independent 3. We have informed EC, it is up to them as to when there should be a by-poll etc," he added.

Congress legislators in Goa on September 18 put forth their demand to Governor Mridula Sinha for a floor test by the BJP-led government to prove its majority in the 40-seat majority, alleging that Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar has lost the 'moral right' to continue in office since he has been away due to health issues.