Two Goa Congress MLAs leave for Delhi; may join BJP

However, All India Congress Committee Secretary A Chellakumar assured that their MLAs were not resigning from the party.

Panaji: Two Goa Congress legislators Dayanand Sopte and Subhash Shirodkar Monday midnight left for Delhi amidst speculations that they may join the BJP.

A senior BJP leader said they were likely to meet BJP president Amit Shah in the national capital.

"Both the Congress MLAs will be resigning from Congress party on Tuesday and joining the BJP," a senior BJP leader told PTI.

While Sopte, who defeated former BJP chief minister Laxmikant Parsekar in 2017 State legislative assembly election, represents Mandrem constituency, Shirodkar was elected on a Congress ticket from Shiroda constituency.

Both the legislators left by a midnight flight to Delhi. Goa Health Minister and BJP MLA Vishwajit Rane also left for Delhi, little before their departure. "I am going on a business trip," Sopte told reporters at the airport.

Similarly, when Shirodkar was asked whether he was joining the BJP, he responded, "You will come to know if I do it".

Goa is currently witnessing hectic political activities with Congress party petitioning President Ram Nath Kovind, seeking his intervention to ask Goa Governor Mridula Sinha to call them to form the government.

BJP state core committee and party's legislature party also met in Panaji during the day. The meetings are happening at the backdrop of poor health condition of Chief minister Manohar Parrikar, who is currently being treated by doctors from state-run Goa Medical College and Hospital at his residence at Dona Paula.

When contacted, All India Congress Committee Secretary A Chellakumar said he had spoken to both the legislators – Sopte and Shirodkar – who had assured him that they were not resigning from the party.

"I spoke to both of them Monday evening and they have refused that they are resigning," he said. Congress currently has 16 MLAs in the Goa Legislative Assembly. Their strength would be reduced to 14 if two legislators resign.

BJP is having 14 MLAs while three each are from Goa Forward Party, Maharashtrawadi Gomantak Party and Independents. One legislator is from the NCP.

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