10 rebel Goa Cong MLAs formally join BJP in Delhi

Congress increasing BJP’s membership: Kerala CM’s jibe at party’s political crisis

The legislators joined the ranks of the saffron party amid protests from Congress leaders outside Parliament over the political crisis unfolding in the state along with Karnataka.

Appearing for the Chief Minister of Karnataka H.D. Kumaraswamy, senior advocate Rajeev Dhavan submitted that the petition had not contained any averment justifying the petition under Article 32 of the Constitution.

Congress's troubleshooter and Water Resources Minister D K Shivakumar reached the residence of Housing Minister M T B Nagaraj at about 5 AM and camped there for nearly four-and-a-half hours, trying to pacify him.

"After witnessing Goa and Kashmir, I feel that the nation's democracy will weaken if we are left with BJP as a single party".

A similar attempt was on to persuade MLAs Ramalinga Reddy, Munirathna and R Roshan Baig.

"As the BJP has already poached about a dozen legislators to destabilise our coalition government for its "operation kamala", we have moved about 50 of our party members to Clarks Exotica Convention Resorts on the outskirts of the city", Congress spokesman Ravi Gowda told IANS here.

However, he did not disclose the names of the three former Congress MLAs who would get ministerial berths. They want to push development work in the state, he said.

Mr Kavlekar also cited the "struggle" in the Congress, an apparent hit at the party's leadership crisis after its president Rahul Gandhi resigned following its rout in the Lok Sabha polls, and wondered how long they could have continued.

But Kumar on Friday sought more time arguing that parallel disqualification proceedings had been pending against some of the rebels since February and he needed to sort that out first before deciding on the resignations.

Chandrakant Kavlekar, Jennifer Monserrate and Filipe Néri Rodrigues who were among 10 Congress MLAs who joined the BJP in Goa on Wednesday were sworn in as ministers along with former deputy Speaker of the Assembly Michael Lobo on Saturday.

In Karnataka, 16 MLAs from the JD (S) Congress ruling coalition and two independent MLAs submitted their resignations to the Speaker last week.

After rebel MLAs appeared before him on Thursday evening, Karnataka assembly speaker Ramesh Kumar said he needs to examine if the resignations that they submitted are "voluntary or genuine".

As reported in TOI, a senior BJP leader Rajendra Arlekar, upset with the move, told the publication that the merger was "Congressisation" of BJP.

The Speaker too has a vote.

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