Panaji, June 7 – Leader of Opposition (LoP) in Goa Assembly Michael Lobo on Tuesday refuted as “false” speculations that half of the Congress legislators could join the ruling BJP.
“There is nothing like that. It is a false news being created and spread. It is just a speculation,” Lobo said.
On May 28, BJP’s Goa desk in-charge C.T Ravi had stated that five MLAs from the opposition are interested to join the ruling side. Since then, Goa is speculating whether a second episode of ‘defection’ could happen in the coastal state.
Recently, a few MLAs of Congress along with Lobo held a meeting in a hotel, which went viral on social media giving scope for further speculations.
In October 2019, during the last term of BJP government, 10 MLAs of Congress along with Leader of Opposition Chandrakant Kavalekar, had switched over to BJP. However, Kavalekar lost the Assembly election held in February 2022. The Leader of Opposition joining the ruling fold had invited ire and criticism from a section of society.
LoP Lobo, who was a minister in BJP’s last term and joined Congress before Assembly election, is in news for allegedly trying to switch along with other five legislatures of Congress. However, he has refuted the rumours saying calling it “fake” news created by social media platforms to draw people’s attention towards their ventures.
“The three of us had coffee together and discussed the forthcoming Assembly session. There was nothing wrong in meeting as there were no BJP functionary. This news was created to draw attention (by a news portal). I even don’t know which portal it is, I saw it on whatsapp,” Lobo said, adding it is a false news being spread.
Lobo’s wife Delilah Lobo is also a Congress legislator from Siolim constituency, in North Goa, while he represents Calangute constituency. Lobo is considered as an influential politician in North Goa.
Reacting strongly against the act of defection, a well-known catholic priest Fr. Eremito Rebello has said that if Congress MLAs choose to switch the party then they will invite punishment and curse.
“There is a rumour that few Congress MLAs are on verge of joining BJP. They had taken a pledge before the Almighty. If they fail to obey it then they will get strict punishment. If they join BJP then they are inviting punishment and curse. They are betraying people (by doing such acts),” Fr. Rebello said.
“Last time only two had remained with Congress (after defection), still eleven got elected in 2022. If they (present Congress MLAs) still try to join BJP then they will face the same fate, how defectors got defeated in the last election,” he said.
Congress candidates, before the Assembly elections, had pledged before the Almighty and signed affidavits that they will not leave the party.