Senior Goa Congress leader Mauvin Godinho, on Thursday left the party after resigning as a member of the state legislative assembly, and formally joined the ruling BJP in the presence of Chief Minister Laxmikant Parsekar.
The five-term legislator from Dabolim constituency in South Goa and former state Minister, said he decided to jointhe BJP as he felt "suffocated" in Congress.
"This morning I submitted the resignation to Congress party. I also submitted my resignation as member of Legislative Assembly to the Speaker. I am a free person now,"Godinho told reporters.
BJP organised a special function to welcome him. Interacting with reporters later, the Chief Minister described the 57-year-old outgoing legislator as "studious"and "down to earth".
"Today, Godinho resigned as an MLA and also from the Congress party. He has formally joined the BJP," Parsekar announced. The Chief Minister said Godinho is known for his well-studied speeches in and outside the state assembly.
"Common man has always been the focus of Godinho. He is the politician, who is down to earth," Parsekar said. "Some time back, I had the privilege of joining BJP whose form I have filled. I have just entered that party. It is aknown fact that I am going to contest from Dabolim," he added.
Godinho said supporting the BJP should not come as a surprise to anyone. "In the past I had amply made it clear how suffocated I felt in the Congress party," he said. "I did not resign earlier just because I did not want to impose mid-term elections on my voters, that is how I continued in Congress.
I could have waited till the end, but I decided enough is enough and now I am member of BJP," the former power minister said. "I always felt suffocated while in Congress, they don'teven allow high command to have their will. The local leaders always put me in the dock. Despite being in politics what isimportant for me is my honour and dignity. They compromisedeven on that," he added.