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Cong eligible to claim main Oppn party status: Speaker

Panaji: Speaker of the state legislative assembly Rajesh Patnekar on Friday stated that the Congress party is eligible to become the main opposition party in the assembly, as it has the required 10 per cent MLAs of the total strength of the House.

The Congress presently has five legislators namely Pratapsing Rane, Digambar Kamat, Luizinho Faleiro, Ravi Naik and Aleixo Reginaldo Lourenco in the 40-member House. This means it has one extra legislator than the required four legislators to claim the status of the main opposition party.

Speaking to ‘The Navhind Times’, Patnekar further said that the legislature department of the assembly is presently studying the position of the House vis-à-vis recent political development wherein ten Congress MLAs joined the Bharatiya Janata Party.

The Speaker also said that the Congress Legislature Party now needs to write to him about its leader in the House. “Only after I receive such a communication, I can take a decision in this matter,” he noted.

Meanwhile, it is predicted that at least three former Congressmen, who have joined the BJP – Atanasio ‘Babush’ Monserrate, Chandrakant ‘Babu’ Kavalekar and Filipe Neri Rodrigues – could be inducted into the state cabinet on Saturday.

If such a thing takes place then the Speaker will disallow around 420 questions submitted by these three MLAs to the legislature department of the assembly, for taking up during the forthcoming monsoon session of the House.

The questions submitted by those former Congressmen, not finding place in the cabinet, however, would be considered by the legislature department. However, since these former Congressmen are now with the treasury benches, it remains to be seen whether they are really interested in cornering the government. 

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