10 Goa Cong MLAs keen to join BJP: Vinay Tendulkar

Vinay Tendulkar (Image courtesy Twitter)

Amid reports of Congress MLAs from Karnataka, Gujarat and Maharashtra poised to join the BJP, the saffron party's Goa president Vinay Tendulkar on Wednesday claimed that as many as 10 out of the 15 Congress MLAs had approached the BJP with a proposal to merger the Opposition unit with it. 

Speaking to reporters in Panaji at the party state’s headquarters, Tendulkar also said that his party high command did not believe in destabilising the Opposition parties, and had, therefore, rejected the merger proposal. 

"The BJP does not believe in destabilising any political party. As many as 15 days ago, 10 Congress leaders had approached us, with the offer that they would merge the Congress legislative party into the BJP. Our High Command outrightly rejected the offer,” Tendulkar told reporters.  

The claim could send jitters down the spine of the already demoralised Congress in Goa, whose performance was relatively lacklustre in the recently concluded general elections and Assembly by-elections to four Assembly constituencies. 

The 'serious' revelation comes a few days after state Congress president Girish Chodankar claimed, that he, as the top Congressman in Goa, could not do much to stop Congress MLAs from joining the BJP, because the offers from the ruling party were hugely lucrative. 

“As much as Rs 60 crore are being offered to our MLAs to switch over and not demand a ministry and Rs 40 crore to those who want to switch over along with a promise of a ministerial berth in the state cabinet,” Chodankar had said. 

Tendulkar rubbished Chodanka's charges. 

"That may be the Congress culture. The BJP does not pay MLAs to join our party,” Tendulkar said, adding that with 17 MLAs and support of six other MLAs in the 40 member state Legislative Assembly, the BJP-led coalition government in Goa was stable and that the party did not need the support of any other MLAs.

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