Margao: Stating that the Congress party would move court seeking disqualification of the ten rebel Congress MLAs who have joined BJP, All-India Congress Committee secretary and Goa desk in-charge Dr A Chella Kumar Thursday said that giving party ticket to Atanasio ‘Babush’ Monserrate to contest the Panaji bypoll was the biggest blunder by his party.
Chella Kumar arrived in Goa Wednesday evening and met senior Congress party leaders on Thursday morning in order to ‘restructure’ the party. He said that legal action would be taken against the rebel MLAs.
Speaking to media persons after meeting Margao MLA Digambar Kamat, Chella Kumar said discussions would continue over the next couple of days to decide on a new leader of opposition ahead of the assembly session, which is set to begin next week.
“We have had our internal discussions to decide who will be leader of opposition now. But at the same time, we will challenge decision of the ten MLAs to switch loyalty. We will go to the court as well as move for disqualification before the Speaker,” said Chella Kumar.
He said, “Giving Babush the ticket was the biggest blunder. Now, we will have to restructure the Congress party. Our five MLAs will represent the opposition in the assembly and we will decide on leadership soon.”
Kamat, on the other hand, called for changing the anti-defection law. “Congress as a party has sizeable support across the state and has fixed voters. It is the leaders who have ditched the voters. You are elected for five years but if this is the way things go on, the anti-defection law will have to be redefined. We will meet everybody and see what we can do,” he said.
In the backdrop of the political drama that began on Wednesday evening, the Goa desk in-charge said the Congress party would stay true to its principles. “In the 120 years since the party was formed, we have come across this sort of occasion many times. We have seen that when MLAs have left Congress they have been eliminated from politics. For certain people, it is about their own personal gains without political ethics and principles and such behaviour will not damage the party. The party doesn’t compromise on its principles. As long as Congress exists, no one can touch the secular fabric of this country,” said Chella Kumar.
He said the BJP was out to murder democracy and that the party did not want to face political opponents. “The BJP is playing with money. Those that have left have told me that they have been approached with a lot of money. The BJP does not want democracy to continue, they want dictatorship and are trying their best. They are doing it everywhere in the country,” he said.