In view of the Goa Legislative Assembly session due to commence on 31st January, Speaker Pratapsing Rane has summoned all three Nationalist Congress Party MLAs to appear before him on 24th January to decide the issue of NCP Whip.
The summons have come consequent to the NCP writing to the Speaker to replace Nilkant Halarnkar as its which in the Assembly with Micky Pacheco who has also been named as the new leader of the NCP in the Legislative Assembly replacing Jose Philip D’Souza.
While it is learnt that Rane will try to seek a consensus on the issue the ruling will have a telling effect on the NCP-Congress alliance in Goa as Chief Minister Digambar Kamat has so far steamrolled the NCP directive to drop its two legislators from the cabinet and induct Micky Pacheco instead.
Meanwhile, the rift in the State unit of the NCP was further exposed as the two NCP minister Jose Philip D’Souza and Nilkant Halarnkar have decided to jointly meet the Speaker while Micky Pacheco will do so separately.
Both are reportedly planning to press for their continuation as Legislative Party leader and whip arguing that these positions are to be decided by the elected representatives and not the party and since the two of them together form a majority, their decision should be binding.
NCP Goa President Surendra Sirsat however refused to comment on the matter preferring to wait for the Speaker’s ruling.