The Congress party in Goa on Wednesday refuted claims made by a section of press in the state that party MLAs were to switch over to Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and said it was ‘dirty tricks’ to divert attention from non-governance.
In a tweet, Goa Pradesh Congress Committee (GPCC) President Girish Chodankar said, “2 Senior Journalists from Delhi called me to check rumours of split in @INCGoa I told them it’s DirtyTricks Dept & FakeNews Factory of @BJP4India @BJP4Goa They confirmed that d news was passed to reporters by #BJP whatsapp groups in Delhi.Nice way to divert from Non Governance.”
Later addressing a press conference Congress MLA from Mandrem constituency Dayanand Sopte the rumour mongering was aimed at controlling MLAs of the BJP as they were getting restless because of the messy situation in the government due to illness of Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar and his cabinet colleagues.
“I would not like to name anyone or give deadlines like they are giving. But rest assured that atleast three MLAs of the BJP are on way to Congress. Congress is 16-MLAs strong. BJP is 14 and three including Chief Minister are in hospital. So the BJP knows they are in a precarious situation. To confuse their three MLAs and prevent them from taking any drastic step, this rumour-mongering is being done. Nobody has approached me,” he said, adding two former Chief Ministers Pratapsingh Rane and Digambar Kamat had contacted him and asked him to ingnore the ‘nonsense’.
Sopte had defeated former Chief Minister Laxmikant Parsekar in 2017 assembly elections.
Meanwhile, speaking to reporters, Mr Kamat also refuted the claim saying the reports were ‘fabricated and planted mischief’.
Kamat had left BJP and joined Congress more than a decade ago. Subsequently he became Chief Minister heading a Congress-led coalition government from 2007-12. He is one of the main accused in the illegal mining scam being investigated by Special Investigative Team (SIT) and prime accused in the Louis Berger bribery scam probed by the Goa Police.
The state assembly has 40 MLAs out of whom 16 are from Congress.
A section of media in the state had quoted BJP sources in Delhi claiming that some MLAs were likely to join the ruling party.