Wed, 26 Jun, 2019

BJP says it rejected move of 10 Congress MLAs for ‘merger’

Govt has the numbers, not interested in engineering any defections, says Saffron party

13th June 2019, 02:15 Hrs

the goan I network

PANAJI

Bharatiya Janata Party Goa unit president Vinay Tendulkar on Wednesday claimed that a group of 10 Congress MLAs had approached them with a proposal to “merge” into the BJP, but the move was rejected by his party’s 

High Command.  

Tendulkar who addressed a press conference in the company of former South Goa MP Narendra Sawaikar and General Secretary Sadanand Shet Tanavade at the party headquarters said the Congress MLAs established contact with the merger proposal about a fortnight ago.  

The stunning claim from the BJP comes a few days after Goa Pradesh Congress Committee president Girish Chodankar had made an allegation that the ruling party was poaching on the MLAs with packages ranging between Rs 40 crore to switch sides and Rs 60 crore for legislators to vacate their seat and quit electoral politics altogether.  

On Wednesday Tendulkar refuted the allegations made by Chodankar saying the BJP was not interested in engineering any defections as its government headed by Chief Minister Pramod Sawant was stable and enjoyed the support of 23 MLAs in the House of 40.   

“We are not interested. Twenty-three MLAs are enough,” Tendulkar said, adding that the trend of Congress leaders wanting to join the BJP has become a nationwide one now because theythink it will be in power for next 25 years.  

Hitting out at the Congress, Tendulkar said the party and its leaders were making baseless allegations.  

“BJP office-bearers or leaders have not spoken to any MLA regarding joining the party. There is no discussion on the subject,” he said. Tendulkar said the figures Chodankar was quoting of Rs 40-60 crore plus a cabinet berth is the modus operandi of the Congress and their habit.   

Tendulkar who represents Goa in the Rajya Sabha said, when Shiroda MLA Subhash Shirodkar and Mandrem MLA Dayanand Sopte had joined the BJP last year there was no any financial transaction between them and the BJP.  

“The BJP does not,do it,” he said.  

Tendulkar had publicly claimed during the run-up to the May 19 by-poll for the prestigious Panaji seat that two more Congress MLAs would be joining the BJP after the Lok Sabha election results. He had made the comment at a public meeting in response to the claim of the eventual winner of the Panjai seat, Atanasio (Babush) Monserrate that a Congress led government would take power after the results.  

Reminded of his statement, Tendulkar however brushed it aside saying such tactical comments are a necessity during elections.