Mon, 15 Jul, 2019

Chellakumar: Will petition Speaker for disqualification; also take legal action

12th July 2019, 02:56 Hrs

the goan I network

MARGAO   

Jolted by the unprecedented political development, the Congress leadership is bracing up for a legal battle to challenge the merger of its 10 MLAs with the BJP and has initiated a consultative process to choose the Congress Legislative Party (CLP) leader ahead of the ensuing Assembly session.   

All India Congress Committee (AICC) general Secretary Dr Chella Kumar, who arrived in Goa late Wednesday, consulted senior party leaders, including the MLAs, on the question of successor to Babu Kavlekar as well as file a disqualification petition with the Speaker against the 10 MLAs.   

Chellakumar had one-on-one discussions with party MLAs, including Digambar Kamat and GPCC Chief Girish Chodankar on the political development that reduced the tally of the Congress party to five in the Goa Legislative Assembly. Chellakumar was expected to be back in Delhi by today to submit a report to the Congress Working Committee (CWC) for further action.  

Terming the so-called merger of the 10-Congress MLAs with the BJP as illegal, Chellakumar reminded that the Congress was a big party and that 10 people cannot merge the party with another party. “We will first challenge the decision by filing a petition before the Speaker for the disqualification of the 10 MLAs. We will also knock the doors of the judiciary for justice,” he added.   

To a question, he said the process of consulting MLAs and senior party leaders was an exercise to appoint a leader of the party in the Assembly and to chalk out the future course of action. “There is no split in the Congress. We will go for the disqualification of the 10 MLAs,” he said, while demanding to know how can 10 people split from the party and merge themselves with another party. He said the party leadership will also take a call within a week on the resignation submitted by GPCC chief Girish Chodankar.   

Accusing the ruling BJP for using money power, Chellakumar alleged that the very same MLAs, who are now in the BJP, had claimed that they had received offers from the ruling party to switch sides. “The BJP is doing the same in every state approaching the Congress MLAs with offers of money. They have done it in Karnataka and now in Goa. The BJP has murdered democracy. They don’t want 

democracy to continue, but want to bring dictatorship rule in the country,” he said.   

To a question whether the Congress leadership delayed in persuading the MLAs not to leave the party, Chellakumar shot back “I was in touch with some of the MLAs. Even after the Lok Sabha election, I had talks with them individually. They had all assured that they will not leave the party”.   

The AICC general Secretary reminded that the Congress has faced so many crisis over the decades, while exuding confidence of overcoming the situation in Goa. “People have eliminated the defectors from the political scene. Certain people have no ethics and they take decisions for their personal gains. But, the Congress will not compromise on principle. There have been attempts made by the BJP to erode the secular fabric, but be rest assured that as long as the Congress exists, no one will be able to touch the secular fabric of the country,” he added.   

Saying the Congress will go back to the people to expose the defectors, Chellakumar said the people of Goa are unhappy with the political development. “Though the MLAs have left the Congress, people are with the people. Ask Babu Kavlekar and Clafacio Dias and Wilfred D’Sa, even they will tell that the people in their constituencies are with the Congress,” he said, adding “these MLAs have embraced the BJP for their self development”.