Goa Congress Urges Speaker to Decide on Disqualification Petitions Against 8 Defector MLAs

Goa Pradesh Congress Committee writes to Speaker to decide on pending disqualification petitions against 8 MLAs who defected from Congress to BJP. The petitions, filed in December 2022, allege the MLAs violated the 10th Schedule of the Indian Constitution.

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Nitish Verma
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Goa Congress Urges Speaker to Decide on Disqualification Petitions Against 8 Defector MLAs

Goa Congress Urges Speaker to Decide on Disqualification Petitions Against 8 Defector MLAs

The Goa Pradesh Congress Committee (GPCC) has written to Goa Legislative Assembly Speaker to Decide on the pending disqualification petitions against 8 MLAs who defected from Congress to BJP on September 14, 2022. The petitions were filed on December 6, 2022, alleging that the MLAs violated the 10th Schedule of the Indian Constitution.

Why this matters: The decision on these petitions has significant implications for the political landscape in Goa, as it may affect the balance of power in the state assembly. Furthermore, the outcome may set a precedent for future cases of defection, influencing the stability of governments and the integrity of the electoral process.

In his letter to the Speaker, GPCC President Amit Patkar stated, "I draw your attention to the pending disqualification petition filed on December 6, 2022, against eight MLAs who defected from Congress to BJP, and request you to decide on the same in a time-bound manner." The 8 MLAs in question are Michael Lobo, Digambar Kamat, Aleixo Sequeira, Sankalp Amonkar, Rudolf Fernandes, Delilah Lobo, Rajesh Faldessai, and Kedar Naik.

The defection of the 8 MLAs from Congress to BJP in September 2022 reduced Congress's strength in the 40-member Goa Assembly to just 3 MLAs. Prior to their defection, Congress had filed disqualification petitions against former Chief Minister Digambar Kamat and MLA Michael Lobo on July 11, 2022, accusing them of anti-party activities. In July 2022, Congress also removed Michael Lobo as the Leader of Opposition, alleging he hatched a conspiracy with Digambar Kamat to split Congress MLAs.

Speaker Ramesh Tawadkar recently dismissed the disqualification petition filed by Congress against Digambar Kamat and Michael Lobo last week. However, the petitions against the remaining 6 MLAs are still pending. Congress leaders have alleged that the Speaker is delaying the hearings of these petitions.

In his letter, Patkar warned, "I will explore all legal remedies if the Speaker continues to delay deciding on the petitions pending before him." Two more individual petitions were also filed by former AICC Secretary Girish Chodankar and Dominic Noronha against the 8 MLAs who switched to the BJP.

The disqualification petitions against the 8 defector MLAs have been pending for over 17 months now. The Goa Congress is urging Speaker Ramesh Tawadkar to take a timely decision on the petitions, which allege that the MLAs violated the anti-defection law under the 10th Schedule of the Indian Constitution by joining the BJP. GPCC President Amit Patkar has warned of exploring legal options if the Speaker continues to delay the decision on these long-pending petitions.

Key Takeaways

  • GPCC writes to Goa Assembly Speaker to decide on disqualification petitions against 8 MLAs who defected from Congress to BJP.
  • Defection reduced Congress's strength in the 40-member Goa Assembly to just 3 MLAs.
  • Petitions allege MLAs violated the 10th Schedule of the Indian Constitution by joining BJP.
  • Speaker Ramesh Tawadkar dismissed petitions against 2 MLAs, but 6 others are still pending.
  • GPCC warns of exploring legal remedies if Speaker continues to delay decision on pending petitions.