Two Goa Congress legislators Subhash Shirodkar and Dayanand Sopte on Tuesday announced that they would be joining the BJP after meeting party president Amit Shah in the national capital. They also said that two to three more MLAs are likely to follow their steps in the coming days.
The development comes at a time when the BJP is trying hard to keep the alliance and its government in the state intact as Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar is suffering from a pancreatic ailment.
“We are joining BJP today. We expect two to three more MLAs to come, not today but in the coming days,” Subhash Shirodkar said.
Following their meeting with Shah, the two MLAs resigned as members of the state assembly.
Subhash Shirodkar and Dayanand Sopte left for Delhi on Monday midnight.
“I am going on a business trip,” Sopte had told reporters at the airport. When Shirodkar was asked whether he was joining the BJP, he responded, “You will come to know, if I do it”.
In the 2017 Goa Assembly elections, Sopte had defeated former BJP chief minister Laxmikant Parsekar. Shirodkar was also elected on a Congress ticket from Shiroda constituency where he defeated BJP candidate.
Goa Health Minister and BJP MLA Vishwajit Rane also left for Delhi, little before their departure.
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.
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.