Congress files disqualification petition against 10 BJP MLAs

Panaji, Aug 8 (IANS) The Congress in Goa on Thursday filed a disqualification petition against 10 MLAs who quit the party and joined the BJP last month.

Speaking to reporters, after filing the petition with the office of the Speaker of the Goa Legislative Assembly Rajesh Patnekar, state Congress President Girish Chodankar said that he expected the former to dispose the plea quickly in the interest of "dignity" of the Constitutional position he folds.

"Speaker has to uphold the dignity of the office he is occupying. He cannot just sit on the petition, He is the judge and he has to do justice to the chair," Chodankar told reporters at the state assembly complex.

"If he is delaying the matter, that means it will be assumed by the people not only in Goa, but also in the country that the Speaker is supporting something wrong. Speaker should do justice to our petition."

The petition has demanded the disqualification of the 10 MLAs, arguing that their split from the party and the subsequent merger into the BJP was unconstitutional and not in sync with the provisions of the 10th Schedule.

"It is not a valid merger. According to the 10th Schedule, there are two requirements. The original political party on whose ticket they had fought the elections and elected to the Assembly should merge and secondly two third of the members of the legislative party should agree to such a merger.

"In the present case there is no merger of the original political party in itself and that is a violation of the 10th schedule and they have incurred disqualification," Chodankar added.

In all, 13 Congress MLAs from Goa have quit the party and joined the BJP since 2017.

--IANS

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