Goa Pradesh Congress Committee to file petition before Speaker seeking disqualification of 10 former MLAs

Goa Pradesh Congress Committee has decided to file a petition before the Speaker (Rajesh Patnekar) of Goa Legislative assembly, seeking disqualification of 10 of its former MLAs who deserted the party and joined BJP (Bhartiya Janta Party) last month.

The decision for the same was conveyed by Goa Pradesh Congress Committee President Girish Chodankar. The disqualification that happened in July left Goa Congress party in shambles, reducing its strength in the assembly by a considerable amount.

Before admitting the matter to the court, Congress needs to run the petition by Speaker. Speaker’s decision is final on the matter and would not be judicially reviewable as per the provisions of the act.

 

BACKGROUND:

In July, a group of 10 rebel Congress MLAs from Goa joined the Bhartiya Janta Party at the party’s headquarters in Delhi in presence of its Working President J.P. Nadda. This increased the BJP’s strength in the assembly, totaling it to 27 seats out of 40 seat assembly.

The prominent leader among them is the former Leader of Opposition in Goa assembly, Chandrakant Kavlekar. Speaking on the incident, Goa Chief Minister Pramod Sawant informed that the decision of 10 MLAs does not attract punishment under Anti-defection act, on the account that 10 members formed more than the two-third proportion of former 15 members Congress legislative party. The Chief Minister claimed that the Congress members wilfully merged with BJP.

Anti-defection Law under 10th schedule was included in the constitution in 1985 through the 52nd constitutional amendment act, which intends to curb the defections by political players.

Originally, Paragraph 3 of the Tenth Schedule recognized a ‘split’ if at least one-third members of the legislature party join another party. However, this clause was thrown away in 2003.

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