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60 pc MLAs in Goa switched parties in last five years, a ‘record’ in India: ADR report

Panaji, As many as 24 legislators in Goa, which is 60 per cent of the overall power of the 40-member state Assembly, have switched parties in the last five years, a report by an organisation has mentioned. The Association of Democratic Reforms (ADR) mentioned in its report that with this, Goa has set a distinctive report, which is “unparalleled” in the historical past of Indian democracy.

Assembly polls in Goa shall be held on February 14.

“In the five year tenure of the current Assembly (2017-2022), as many as 24 MLAs have changed their parties, which is 60 per cent of the total strength of the House. It has never happened anywhere else in India. A clear reflection of utter disrespect to the mandate of voters. A callous approach to ethics and discipline overborne by uncontrolled greed at its worst,” the report acknowledged.

It mentioned the checklist of 24 MLAs doesn’t embrace the names of Vishwajit Rane, Subhash Shirodkar and Dayanand Sopte, who had resigned as Congress MLAs in 2017, and joined the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), earlier than contesting elections on its tickets.

Ten Congress legislators had crossed over to the BJP in 2019. They included the then chief of opposition Chandrakant Kavlekar (Quepem constituency).

Other Congress MLAs who had switched over to the BJP are – Jennifer Monserrate (Taleigao), Francisco Silveria (St Andre), Filipe Nery Rodrigues (Velim), Wilfred Nazareth Menino D’sa (Nuvem), Clafasio Dias (Cuncolim), Antonio Carano Fernandes (St Cruz), Neelkanth Halarnkar (Tivim), Isidore Fernandes (Cancona), Atanasio Monserrate (who gained the Panaji by election in 2019 after dying of Manohar Parrikar).

Maharashtrawadi Gomantak Party (MGP) MLAs Deepak Pauskar (Sanvordem) and Manohar Ajgaonkar (Pernem) had additionally switched over to BJP throughout the identical interval.

Jayesh Salgoankar of the Goa Forward Party (GFP) from Saligao had additionally joined the BJP.

Recently, former Goa chief minister Ravi Naik, a Congress MLA from Ponda, joined the ruling saffron occasion.

Another former CM and Congress chief Luizinho (*60*) (Navelim) had joined the Trinamool Congress (TMC), which is attempting its electoral luck in Goa for the time in the February 14 meeting polls.

Churchill Alemao, a former CM who had gained on the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) ticket in 2017 additionally switched to the TMC not too long ago.

Aleixo Reginaldo Lourenco, a Congress MLA from Curtorim, additionally joined the Mamata Banerjee-led occasion. However, Lourenco resigned from the TMC as properly and wished to return to the Congress, however wasn’t taken. He has now determined to contest the upcoming polls as an unbiased.

Another MLA, Wilfred D’sa, who had give up the Congress and joined the BJP in 2019, has resigned from the ruling occasion and is contesting as an unbiased. Deepak Pauskar has give up the BJP as properly.

Independent MLAs Rohan Khaunte (Porvorim) and Govind Gaude (Priol) have joined the BJP, whereas one other unbiased legislator, Prasad Gaonkar, has joined the Congress.

The BJP MLAs, who give up the occasion are – Pravin Zantye (Maem), who has now joined the MGP, Michael Lobo (Calangute), who has joined the Congress, Jose Luis Carlos Almeida (Vasco Da Gama) has joined the Congress, whereas Alina Saldanha (Cortalim) has joined the Aam Aadmi occasion (AAP).

After defections and resignation of MLAs, the present power of the Congress in the House is 2, whereas that of the BJP is 27.

The electoral battle for Goa has turn out to be multi-cornered with the entry of the TMC and aggressive campaigning by the Arvind Kejriwal-led AAP. So far, ballot tie-ups had been solid between the regional MGP and the TMC, and between the Congress and the GFP.

In the 2017 elections, the Congress had emerged because the single-largest occasion in Goa by successful 17 seats in the 40-member House, however couldn’t come to energy because the BJP, which bagged 13, allied with some independents and regional parties to kind the federal government.

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