Goa politics: Cong manages to avoid split as of now, 10 MLAs attend party meeting

12 July, 2022 | Riya Girdhar

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Five Congress MLAs, including Kamat and Lobo, went silent on Sunday. They did, however, attend the Goa Assembly proceedings on Monday, the first day of its monsoon session.

The Congress party was relieved when 10 of 11 MLAs in Goa attended a meeting chaired by senior leader Mukul Wasnik, indicating that the party has managed to avert a split in its fold for the time being. Congress MLAs, including Michael Lobo, were present at the two-hour meeting at the state party headquarters.

According to reports, all other party MLAs, with the exception of former chief minister Digambar Kamat, attended the meeting.

The meeting was also attended by Congress Goa desk in-charge Dinesh Gundu Rao and state party president Amit Patkar.

Wasnik claimed that some people with “bad intentions” were attempting to create a schism in the Goa Congress, but the legislators thwarted it by demonstrating their unity. During the meeting, he said, MLAs discussed how to work aggressively in the House and strengthen the party in the coastal state.

Five Congress MLAs, including Kamat and Lobo, went silent on Sunday. They did, however, attend the Goa Assembly proceedings on Monday, the first day of its monsoon session, and claimed that nothing was wrong and that they were members of the party.

Lobo and Kamat were accused by the Congress of “conspiring and hobnobbing” with the ruling BJP in order to engineer a split in the grand old party’s legislative wing.

Lobo was also removed from his position as leader of the opposition in the 40-member Assembly.

Patkar filed a disqualification petition against Kamat and Lobo before Assembly Speaker Ramesh Tawadkar on Monday after some Congress Legislature Party members failed to attend a press conference called by Rao on Sunday.

When asked if the disqualification petition would be withdrawn, Wasnik replied, “You don’t ask all the questions now, let us save some for later.”

Lobo told reporters after the meeting on Monday night that he was with the Congress and that there had been a “misunderstanding” by the party because he was unable to attend the press conference called on Sunday.

“All of the Congress MLAs are members of the party.” “I told them I didn’t want to continue as opposition leader because I wouldn’t be able to do the job justice,” he said.

He added that senior leaders such as Digambar Kamat or Sankalp Amonkar could be elected as the LoP in the Assembly.