Panaji: The presidential polls to be held on Monday regarding this five Congress legislators from Goa-Sankalp Amonkar (Mormugao), Carlos Alvares Ferreira (Aldona), Altone D’Costa (Quepem), Yuri Alemao (Cuncolim), and Rudolf Fernandes (Santa Cruz)-were taken to Chennai on Friday night by the party.
“To avoid cross-voting, the party has asked us to stay together,” one of the MLAs said. “We have gone to Chennai, and will be back in Goa on Monday morning.” “There are a total of five MLAs.
One Congress functionary said that some of the legislators had been planning to join the BJP. “They are not thinking of the long term.” “They want to do everything in one go,” he said.
The decision to join the BJP will not help them in the long run, “the functionary said, on the condition of anonymity.
Since July 10, Congress has been working hard to keep its members united. Goa desk in-charge, Dinesh Gundu Rao, has also held several rounds of meetings with MLAs to discourage them from joining the saffron party. Even Congress president Sonia Gandhi asked AICC deputy general secretary, Mukhul Wasnik to stop horse trading and keep the MLAs on one platform.
The breakaway group, which has six MLAs led by former CM Digambar Kamat, said that two more are in touch with them. “Both have agreed to come with us, but need a little more time to join the group,” one of the breakaway MLAs said.
“We have told them that once they are in the BJP, it will help them take up development work in their constituencies and resolve the issues of the public,” he said.
In the Goa assembly, there are 40 MLAs. The BJP and Congress have 20 and 11 MLAs, respectively. Before the election, the Congress party had taken an oath from its members that they would not leave the party and join the BJP after getting elected.