Congress Collapses In Goa: 8 Of 11 MLAs Join BJP

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Panaji: Barely two months after the Congress seemed to have staved off a defection bid, eight of its 11 MLAs led by top leaders Digambar Kamat and Michael Lobo joined the ruling BJP, reducing the opposition party to just three members in a House of 40. The mass defection — a 2019 redux for Goa Congress — is hugely embarrassing for the party in the middle of Rahul Gandhi’s ‘Bharat Jodo Yatra’ (Unite India March), at which the BJP has been taking jibes: “Jodo (Unite) your party first.”

With eight MLAs breaking away as a group — that is two thirds of the party strength — they can’t be disqualified under the anti-defection law. These include Michael Lobo’s wife Delilah Lobo, Rajesh Phaldesai, Kedar Naik, Sankalp Amonkar, Aleixo Sequeira and Rudolf Fernandes.

“It is Congress chhoro (quit Congress), BJP ko jodo,” quipped Michael Lobo as the MLAs announced their switch in what’s being called yet another ‘Operation Lotus’, named after the BJP’s poll symbol.

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