Panaji: Two Goa Congress legislators Dayanand Sopte and Subhash Shirodkar left on Monday for New Delhi to reportedly join the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP). Reports said Sopte and Shirodkar were slated to meet BJP national president Amit Shah in the national capital at 9:30 AM today. “Both the Congress MLAs will be resigning from Congress party on Tuesday and joining the BJP,” a senior BJP leader told PTI.
The leaders were accompanied by Union Minister of state for AYUSH Shripad Naik when left by a midnight flight to Delhi.
Sopte, who defeated former BJP chief minister Laxmikant Parsekar in the 2017 State legislative assembly election, represents Mandrem constituency, while Shirodkar was elected on a Congress ticket from Shiroda constituency.
The developments come amid demands from the opposition parties for a floor test to be held for the BJP to prove majority in the Assembly.
Last month, Congress legislators had approached Goa Governor Mridula Sinha, urging her to invite them to form the government in the state owing to Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar’s health.
Currently, Congress has 16 MLAs in the Goa Legislative Assembly and if two legislators resign, the party’s strength would be reduced to 14. The ruling BJP has 14 MLAs while three each are from Goa Forward Party, Maharashtrawadi Gomantak Party, and independent candidates, respectively. One legislator is from the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP).
(With agency inputs)