Goa Political Crisis: Congress MLA Digambar Kamat likely to join BJP, may get top job
In a major turn-around of events in Goa, former chief minister Digambar Kamat is likely to join the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), according to party sources. BJP may offer Kamat chief minister's post amid the calls of political transition in wake of Manohar Parrikar's critical health. The sources also said that the BJP leadership has also taken all its lawmakers into the confidence about Kamat's entry.
Goa Deputy Speaker Michael Lobo also confirmed that Kamat's name was being discussed during the BJP MLAs meeting but said that a final decision will be taken by the central leadership. "Last evening, at BJP MLAs meeting, a discussion was held over Digambar Kamat joining BJP. The decision on whether he will be the CM will be taken by the central leadership," ANI quoted Lobo as saying.
The development is seen as a major setback to the Congress party, which had staked claim to form the government in the state. On Saturday, Leader of Opposition Chandrakant Kavlekar wrote to Governor Mridula Sinha asking her to dismiss the BJP-led state government.
"Consequent upon the sad demise of Francis D'Souza, MLA, who belonged to the BJP, it is humbly submitted that the incumbent BJP-led state government under the leadership of Manohar Parrikar, which has long lost the trust of the people and now also lost strength in the House," Kavlekar said in a letter to the Governor.
"It is, therefore, incumbent upon you to dismiss the state government led by the BJP to ensure that the Indian National Congress, which is the single-largest party in the House and is presently enjoying the majority, be called to form government," he said.
Currently, the Congress has 14 MLAs in the 40-member Goa Assembly, while the BJP has 13 lawmakers. The BJP government has the backing of the Goa Forward Party and MGP. Both parties have three MLAs each. After D'Souza's demise, three Assembly seats in Goa remain vacant.