Former Goa Chief Minister Digambar Kamat of Congress was on Wednesday appointed as the Leader of Opposition in the Goa Legislative Assembly. The Leader of the Opposition post was fell vacant after his predecessor Chandrakant Kavlekar along with nine other MLAs defected to ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP).
Goa Pradesh Congress Committee (GPCC) president Girish Chodankar confirmed the development. Girish Chodankar said that All India Congress Committee has approved his election as CLP leader.
Sources familiar with the appointment of Kamal claimed that his name was finalized during a meeting of the five MLAs with AICC secretary A Chellakumar last week. The monsoon session of the Goa Assembly Session has already started on July 15.
Kamat had served as a chief minister of the tiniest state during 2007-2012 before the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) defeated the Congress in the polls.
It should be noted that 10 out of 15 Congress MLAs in Goa shifted loyalties and merged with the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party. Following the merger episode, Congress is left with just 5 MLAs in the state where it was the single largest party after 2017 Assembly polls.
Three out of 10 Congress Defectors have also been inducted in the Goa Cabinet led by Chief Minister Pramod Sawant. Congress Defector and now a deputy Chief Minister Chandrakant Kavlekar on Monday was awarded with 5 ministries. Kavlekar, who was Leader of Opposition in Goa Leader, has been appointed as Town and Country Planning Minister.
While he has also been given the charge of four other departments including – Agriculture, Archives, Archaeology, Factories and Boilers. Congress defectors including Filipe Nery Rodrigues, Jennifer Monserrate, and Chandrakant Kavleka, took the oath as ministers in Goa Government last week.
CM inducted the three Congress Defectors and Micheal Lobo by dropping three GFP legislators. However, irked with the move, Goa Forward Party later withdrew support from Goa State Government.
Bharatiya Janata Party is now heading the government with 24 Legislators, MGP has one, while 3 are Independent MLAs.
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