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2 former MGP MLAs face disqualification in Goa

Maharashtrawadi Gomantak Party leader Sudin Dhavalikar. (Image courtesy ANI/Twitter)

Goa's unending political drama, which started soon after the death of chief minister late Manohar Parrikar on March 17 got a new twist on Friday, with the MGP filing a disqualification petition against two of its former MLAs, who broke away from the party in a midnight drama on March 27 and joined the ruling BJP.

In his petition filed before the Goa Speaker's office on Friday, former deputy chief minister and senior Maharashtrawadi Gomantak Party leader Sudin Dhavalikar claimed that because the MGP did not pass any resolution to merge the party into the BJP and the two MLAs voluntarily quit the party, they should be disqualified under the tenth schedule of the Indian Constitution, colloquially referred to as the anti-defection law.

"The merger of the legislature party in the absence of merger of the original political party, not being contemplated under the 10th schedule clearly attracts disqualification on grounds of defections, since by this act, the respondents have voluntarily given up membership of their original political party," the petition filed by Dhavalikar reads.

Dhavalikar backs his claim by saying that while accepting the letter from the two MLAs seeking merger with the BJP, the acting Speaker Michael Lobo in his order had said that the "MGP has decided to merge in the BJP", which the lone MGP MLA said was untrue, as the regional party had contested a by-election on April 23 at the Shiroda assembly constituency.

"The tenth schedule of the Constitution of India does not postulate a 'bedroom merger' by which the members of the legislature party would meet at a bedroom at midnight and claim that a merger has taken place even of the original political party," Dhavalikar added.

Both political parties have been attacking each other for nearly a month which peaked in March after the BJP in an overnight coup snapped two out of three MLAs from the MGP’s legislative party and inducted them into the BJP.

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