The Congress and BJP in Goa indulged in claims and counter-claims on Thursday over the former’s MLAs purportedly wanting to join the latter. While the Congress rubbished the claim that 10 of its MLAs were keen on jumping ship, the BJP said that they were denied entry into the saffron party.

The denial from the Congress came after Goa BJP chief Vinay Tendulkar claimed on Wednesday that the MLAs, who according to him were eager to join the saffron party, were refused entry into the party fold as it had a comfortable majority in the Assembly.

Talking to reporters in Panaji, Goa Pradesh Congress Committee president Girish Chodankar hit out at Tendulkar for his “false” claim and dubbed him a “habitual liar”.

“All our 15 MLAs are together. After I read about Tendulkar’s statement I spoke to all our MLAs who have denied attempting anything like that (switchover). Tendulkar is a habitual liar who is trying to sell his lies to the public,” Chodankar said.

“I request the BJP and its leader Tendulkar to stop this false propaganda. For the last five years, the BJP has been trying to make India Congress-mukt, but the people of this country are not letting that happen,” he said.

So BJP central leaders are frustrated and they have adopted this policy to split opposition MLAs, Chodankar added.

The BJP cannot rule the state without propagating “lies” and it is relying on horse-trading to continue in the government, the Congress leader alleged.

The 40-member Goa Assembly has 17 MLAs of the BJP followed by 15 of the Congress.

Besides, the House has three Goa Forward Party (GFP) MLAs, three Independents and one each from the NCP and the Maharashtrawadi Gomantak Party.

All GFP and Independent MLAs are supporting the BJP- led government.

With Inputs From PTI