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BJP increases numbers in Goa

March 28, 2019

The Bharatiya Janata Party in Goa has effected a split in its alliance partner, the Maharashtrawadi Gomantak Party (MGP). Two of the MGP's three MLAs, Manohar Ajgaonkar and Deepak Prabhu Pauskar have said they will merge with the BJP.

In a letter to the Speaker's office early Wednesday morning, the two MLAs said they would be joining the BJP.

The total strength of the legislators of the Maharashtrawadi Gomantak Legislative Party is three members and we constitute of 2/3rd of the members. We, Manohar Ajgaonkar and Deepak Pauskar have agreed to merge with the Bharatiya Janata Party. In view of sub-clause (2) of clause 4 of the tenth schedule (anti-defection law), and in view of the fact that we constitute 2/3rd members of the legislative party, such merger shall be deemed to have taken place. - Letter to the Speaker

The MLAs gave the letter to Speaker Michael Lobo along with new chief minister Pramod Sawant and state party president Vinay Tendulkar.

Pauskar blamed the MGP's central committee for keeping them out on crucial matters. "We were never a part of the decision-making process in the MGP. Whatever ministry I am given by the Chief Minister I will be happy with it". Pauskar is likely to made a minister.

This has isolated MGP leader and Public Works Department Minister Sudin Dhavalikar who may now be dropped from the Goa cabinet and will no longer be a member of the ruling alliance.

The move will also bring the BJP's numbers in the house to 14, the same as that of the Congress. Along with the support of the Goa Foward Party and Independents, the BJP-led coalition government enjoys the support of 20 MLAs, including the Speaker. The current strength of the Goa Assembly is 36.

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