Goa: Cong observes ‘Black Day’ of defection of party leaders
Panaji, Sep 14 (IANS) The Congress on Thursday observed black day and burnt effigies of eight defectors, who had joined the BJP on this day in 2022, reducing the grand old party’s strength to 3 MLAs in the 40-member Goa Assembly.
“It is a black day of democracy. All these MLAs had taken oath in the name of God that they will not defect. But still they switched sides. These eight MLAs have betrayed people of Goa for their self interest, and benefits,” Goa unit Congress chief Amit Patkar said during protest at Margao in South Goa.
“These MLAs were lured by the BJP promising to give cabinet berths. But one year has passed (to their joining)… nothing has been given to them. This has proved how BJP has used them,” Patkar said.
He said that in democracy, people’s power is supreme.
“People should defeat these eight ‘gaddars’ (traitors) in the next election. They joined BJP betraying mandate for their selfish interest,” Patkar said assuring that his three remaining MLAs will work in the interest of people.
Former Chief Minister Digambar Kamat, (then) Leader of Opposition Michael Lobo, Delilah Lobo, Kedar Naik, Sankalp Amonkar, Rajesh Faldesai, Aleixo Sequeira and Rudolf Fernandes, were the eight legislators who switched to the BJP.
On July 10, 2019, (last term of BJP government), Congress had faced setback after 10 MLAs along with Leader of Opposition Chandrakant Kavalekar switched over to BJP.
However, Kavalekar along with other six defected MLAs lost the Assembly election held in the February 2022 election.
Congress made an issue of this ‘defection’ during the campaigning of the February 2022 election and to seek sympathy from voters made their candidates take oath before gods in Church, Dargah and temples.
Not only this but they swore an affidavit and pledged on constitution.
However, Digambar Kamat justifying his decision of joining BJP had said: “I have faith in God. I again went before God and told him ‘such’ is the situation, what should I do? God told me you take the decision (to join BJP), I am there with you.”
Angry with the deed of these eight defectors, who according to them defied and betrayed God by merging into the BJP, some hardcore devotees of Lord Bodgeshwar at Mapusa had offered nine bananas along with areca nut and betel leaves praying that God should ‘teach them a lesson’.
They had said that eight bananas were in the name of defectors and ninth banana was in the name of those who welcomed them in the party.
In the 2022 election, Congress had 11 MLAs in the 40 members of Goa Assembly.
While BJP had 20 MLAs, which now increased to 28. BJP also has support of two MGP MLAs and three Independent MLAs. Hence the strength of the saffron party has gone up to 33 and Congress has reduced to 3.