Jul 10, 2022 10:28 PM STI

Panjim (Goa) [India]Jul 10 (ANI): After dismissing Michael Lobo as opposition leader in Goa Assembly for alleged conspiracy to provoke defections, Congress says BJP is attempting a 2/3 split and offered huge sums of money to party lawmakers.
Amid speculation that some Congress lawmakers were heading for the Bharatiya Janata party in Goa, Congress on Sunday ousted MLA party Michael Lobo as opposition leader in the Goa Assembly, alleging he had , along with Digambar Kamat, hatched a plot to provoke defections in “total coordination” with the BJP.
“The BJP was trying a 2/3 split, so that at least 8 of our MPs would leave. Many of our people were offered huge sums of money. I am shocked at the amount offered. But our 6 MPs have stood firm, I am proud of them,” Congress Goa official Dinesh Gundu Rao said at a press conference.
Rao said that a plot has been hatched by some of our own leaders with the BJP to see that the Congress party in Goa is weakened and to organize defections.
“This conspiracy was led by two of our own leaders, opposition leaders Michael Lobo and Digambar Kamat. These two people were working in full coordination with the BJP. One person – Digambar Kamat – did it to protect his own skin because so many cases are against him and the other person – Michael Lobo – for power and position. The BJP wants to end the opposition,” he said.
Rao said a new leader will be elected as leader of the opposition.
“A new leader will be elected. Whatever action must be taken by law against this kind of defection, the anti-party work will follow. Let’s see how many people will stay/move. Five of our MPs are here, we are in contact with other MPs and they will be with us,” he said.
Rao affirmed that the Congress party will not be discouraged or weakened. “We will address this issue more aggressively. We will inform the people that this betrayal is orchestrated by two people for the sake of power and personal gain,” he added.
Amid rumors that some Congress MPs may move to the ruling BJP, the Speaker of the Goa Legislative Assembly, Ramesh Tawadkar on Sunday rescinded the notification announcing the elections for the post of Deputy Speaker.
The order withdrawing notice of election for vice president was withdrawn Sunday morning. The election was due to take place on July 12 during the next session of the Monsoon Assembly.
Secretary of the Legislative Assembly Namrata Ulman has said that the notification issued on July 8 under Rule 308 of the Rules of Procedure and Conduct of Business of the Goa Legislative Assembly is withdrawn.
“Therefore, the Notice of Nomination for the election of Vice President issued under Rule 9(2) of the Rules of Procedure and Conduct of Business of the Goa Legislative Assembly is also withdrawn,” reads the order.
“All members can take note of it. No candidacies will be accepted for the said election,” he adds.
The two-week session of the Assembly will begin on Monday.
The withdrawal comes amid widespread rumors that a group of Congress MPs may split off to join the BJP. There was no formal confirmation even as Congress deputies held a series of meetings in the city of Margao on Sunday.
In the Goa Assembly elections held earlier this year, the BJP emerged as the largest party, winning 20 seats in the 40-member state assembly and reducing the Congress to 11 seats. (ANI)