In yet another late-night development in Goa, two out of three MLAs of the Maharashtrawadi Gomantak Party (MGP) have joined BJP, taking the latter's strength in the State Assembly to 14 legislators.
MGP MLAs, Manohar Ajgaonkar and Deepak Prabhu Pauskar, gave a letter to Speaker Michael Lobo at 1:45 am on Wednesday informing that they "have agreed to merge" with BJP.
Two MLAs submitted letter along with CM Pramod Sawant
After the Speaker's office received the two MGP MLA's letter at 1:45 am, Speaker Lobo accepted their request, directing the Legislature Secretary to "do the needful." Following this, the Legislature Secretary issued an order to merge MGP Legislature Party with BJP.
MLAs Ajgaonkar and Pauskar had reportedly submitted their letter to the Speaker along with Goa BJP chief Vinaj Tendulkar and CM Pramod Sawant.
We constitute two-thirds of MGP Legislative Party's strength: MLAs
In their letter, MLAs Ajgaonkar and Pauskar wrote that they constitute two-thirds of MGP Legislative Party's strength.
"We....have agreed to merge with the Bharatiya Janata Party. In view of sub-clause (2) of clause 4 of the tenth schedule (anti-defection law), and in view of the fact that we constitute 2/3rd members..., such merger shall be deemed to have taken place," read their letter.
Deepak Prabhu Pauskar to be sworn in as minister
Deepak Prabhu Pauskar is expected to be sworn in as a Goa cabinet minister on Wednesday. Meanwhile, MGP leader and PWD Minister Sudin Dhavalikar is likely to be dropped from the cabinet.
The move takes BJP's total strength to 14, equating Congress. The BJP-led coalition government will have a strength of 20, along with the support of Goa Forward Party (GFP) and Independents.
Our strength has grown to 14: Goa CM
Speaking on the merger of MGP Legislative Party with BJP, Goa CM Pramod Sawant said, "Two MGP MLAs Manohar Ajgaonkar & Deepak Pauskar have joined BJP for the stability of the government. Automatically, our strength has grown to 14."
Here's what Goa CM Pramod Sawant said
Goa CM Pramod Sawant on merger of Maharashtrawadi Gomantak Legislative Party with BJP: Two MGP MLAs Manohar Ajgaonkar Deepak Pauskar have joined BJP for the stability of the government. Automatically, our strength has grown to 14. pic.twitter.com/ByF838ftOk