Ten out of the total 11 Congress MLAs in Goa attended a meeting chaired by AICC General Secretary Mukul Wasnik in Panaji on Monday night, 11 July, quashing speculations of a rift in the party.
Former Leader of Opposition Michael Lobo, Congress Goa desk in-charge Dinesh Gundu Rao, and state party president Amit Patkar were among those in attendance at the meeting which reportedly went on for over two hours at the state party headquarters.
Former Chief Minister Digambar Kamat was the only Congress legislator from the state who remained absent.
Meanwhile, Goa CM Pramod Sawant on Tuesday asserted that "the BJP has nothing to do with the rebellion in the Congress Legislature Party."
After the five Congress MLAs – Michael Lobo, Digambar Kamat, Kedar Naik, Rajesh Faldesai and Delialah Lobo – went incommunicado on Sunday, Congress president Sonia Gandhi had asked Wasnik to rush to Goa.
This comes after five out of the 11 MLAs – Michael Lobo, Digambar Kamat, Kedar Naik, Rajesh Faldesai, and Delilah Lobo – went incommunicado on Sunday. They, however, attended the Goa Assembly proceedings on the first day of its monsoon session on Monday and claimed there was nothing wrong and that they were with the party.
Following reports of fissures within the party, the Congress on Monday had furthered a petition seeking disqualification of Michael Lobo and Digambar Kamat. The party had also removed Lobo from the post of leader of opposition in the 40-member Assembly.
People With 'Bad Intentions' Trying To Split Goa Cong: Mukul Wasnik
Mukul Wasnik claimed some people with “bad intentions” were trying to create a split in the Goa Congress, but that the legislators had evaded the scheme by remaining united.
The Congress had earlier accused Lobo and Kamat of "conspiring and hobnobbing" with the ruling BJP to engineer a split in the grand old party's legislative wing.
Wasnik said that during the meeting, discussions were held with the MLAs on how to work aggressively in the House and strengthen the party in the coastal state.
Asked if the disqualification petition would be withdrawn, Wasnik said, "You don't ask all questions now, let us keep something for later.”
“All the Congress MLAs are with the party. I had told them that I didn't want to continue as the leader of opposition because I would not be able to do justice to the post,” Michael Lobo was quoted as saying
(With inputs from PTI)