Within a week of the start of Rahul Gandhi’s Bharat Jodo Yatra, the BJP has split the Congress in Goa. Eight out of 11 Congress MLAs from Goa yesterday joined the BJP raising the slogan ‘Congress Chhodo, BJP Ko Jodo’. Among them is former chief minister Digambar Kamat, opposition leader Michael Lobo and his wife Delilah. Old Congress leaders like Aleixo Sequeira, Sankalp Amonkar, Rodolfo Fernandes are also in this party.
Down the memory lane
Three years ago, 10 out of 15 Congress MLAs joined the BJP in the last assembly as well. With that in mind, before the Goa assembly elections earlier this year, the Congress took its candidates to churches and temples to swear that they would not join the BJP even if they won on a Congress ticket. After breaking that oath and joining the BJP, Digambar Kamat claimed, “I went to God in the temple and asked what should be done. God said to do it for my good.” Kamat, Lobo claimed that they want to strengthen the hands of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Chief Minister Pramod Sawant of the BJP government in the development of Goa.
The split in Goa within the Bharat Jodo Yatra left the Congress in deep discomfort. Alleging Congress leadership, greed for huge money, and CBI-ED-Income Tax Department intimidation, BJP broke Congress MLAs. The sole purpose of this ‘Operation Kamal’ is to trouble Congress during the Bharat Jodo Yatra. Otherwise, the BJP government in Goa already has enough MLAs.
Statement of the CM
Pramod Sawant, the chief minister of the BJP government in Goa, pointed to the same and said, “Congress has started Bharat Jodo. Congress Chhoro has started in Goa.”
The BJP alliance recently came to power in Maharashtra after breaking the Shiv Sena. There were earlier allegations that the BJP was trying to come to power by breaking Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) MLAs in Delhi. AAP said BJP had contacted 11 of its MLAs to topple the Punjab government. State Finance Minister Harpal Cheema named the 11 and claimed that BJP has also shown fear of ED-CBI besides showing greed of 25 crore rupees per head of MLAs. Even death threats have been given. An FIR has been filed by the Punjab Police based on this complaint.
But the BJP-led ruling coalition already had 25 MLAs in the 40-member assembly in Goa. Now it has increased to 33 people.
Calling this ‘Operation Kamal’ of BJP as ‘Operation Slop’, Congress leader Jairam Ramesh complained, “BJP is disturbed by the success of Bharat Jodo Yatra. So, BJP’s dirty game is going on every day to get attention.” BJP state president Sanatan Tanabar claimed, “We did not conduct any operations. Congress MLAs did not have confidence in their party’s leadership or ideology. So, they joined BJP.” Congress spokesperson Supriya Shrinate retorted, “Hand over the CBI, ED, and Income Tax department to us. Give the money that BJP receives through election bonds. We will bring Narendra Modi, and Amit Shah to Congress.”