The Congress on Monday moved a disqualification petition against Digambar Kamat and Michael Lobo citing “anti-party activities”, despite the MLAs claiming that they were still with the party and made no attempts to split the Goa unit and merge with the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP).
Goa Congress president Amit Patkar said the activities the duo indulged in amounted to them voluntarily giving up their membership of the party, as a result of which the petition has been moved before the Speaker’s office.
“We are filing a disqualification petition against two senior leaders because they have voluntarily given up membership of the party. There is a Supreme Court judgement of 2020, which says that any anti-party activity amounts to voluntarily giving up their membership,” Patkar told reporters.
Earlier in the day, both Kamat and Lobo, who AICC Goa desk in-charge Dinesh Gundu Rao accused of conspiring and colluding with the BJP to weaken and split the Congress, claimed that they were hurt by the allegations.
“I have seen the video of the press conference of Dinesh Gundu Rao. I am shocked, stunned and it has hurt me beyond words,” Kamat, a former Goa chief minister and the senior-most Congress legislator, said.
“Allegations are made. Yesterday because we were not there for the press conference, does it necessitate allegations? We were there yesterday (afternoon) and the day before. We are strongly with the Congress,” Lobo said earlier.
When pointed out that both leaders have claimed that they continue to be with the party, Patkar alleged that the duo changed their stance because the move didn’t work out.
“There was a move to split the Congress party in Goa. They couldn’t attain the numbers. They couldn’t get the 2/3rd numbers, which is why their stance must have changed today. But the fact is across the country, you saw what happened in Maharashtra, they wanted to repeat the same thing in Goa in terms of money power, muscle powers…in terms of all the (central enforcement and investigation) agencies. We have made sure that the BJP is not successful in Goa and we stopped that defection yesterday,” Patkar said.
“Today we have to fight for democracy. We have to save democracy. The BJP is trying to finish democracy. They don’t want it. They want to rule without opposition. So, their attempts were there and we have put all the facts on record. There is evidence that there was an attempt to split the Congress party. The Congress as a party has decided that it’s time that we save democracy in the country. Else there will be no opposition left in any state,” Patkar added.