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Goa Speaker hears first disqualification plea, grants 30 days’ to 2 rebel Cong MLAs



Panaji, Dec 16 Goa Assembly Speaker Ramesh Tawadkar on Friday conducted the first hearing on a disqualification petition filed against two rebel Congress MLAs and granted them 30 days’ time to file a reply.

On July 11, 2022, the Congress had filed a disqualification petition against former Chief Minister Digambar Kamat and Michael Lobo for “anti-party” activities.

Tawadkar, on Friday, told reporters that the first hearing of the disqualification petition filed by Congress in July was conducted and 30 days’ time has been granted to respondent.

“Lawyers of both respondents appeared for the hearing. They sought 30 days’ time to file a reply, which was granted to them and served them ‘respondents copy’. They also want to study the matter,” Tawadkar said.

He said that hearings on other disqualification petitions will be processed soon.

The Congress had alleged that Kamat and Michael Lobo had hatched a conspiracy by hobnobbing with the BJP to split Congress MLAs.

Later on September 14, Margao MLA Digambar Kamat and Calangute MLA Michael Lobo, along with other six MLAs namely Delilah Lobo, Kedar Naik, Sankalp Amonkar, Rajesh Faldesai, Aleixo Sequeira, and Rudolf Fernandes had joined the BJP, reducing the Congress strength in the 40-member house to three.

According to Goa Congress Chief Amit Patkar, the Supreme Court judgment says that anti- party activities amount to voluntarily giving up party membership. “We have evidence against them to prove that both were involved in anti-party activities and were trying to split MLAs,” Patkar had said.

Apart from this, Congress on December 9, filed another disqualification petition before Goa Assembly against all eight MLAs, who had switched to the BJP on September 14.

Two more individual petitions were filed by former Congress secretary Girish Chodankar and Dominic Noronha against these eight MLAs.

Claiming that merger of these MLAs is invalid, Chodankar had pleaded to disqualify them as members of Goa State Legislative Assembly under Article 191 (2) para 2 of Constitution of India r/w para 2 (1) (a) of tenth schedule of constitution of India.