MIDNIGHT COUP, two MGP MLAs split and merge in BJP
· Babu Azgaonkar, Deepak Pauskar split and merge with BJP; Claim MGP had become a family raj party
In another late night political development, two Maharashtrawadi Gomantak Party split and joined the Bharatiya Janata Party.
Tourism Minister Manohar alias Babu Azgaonakr and Sanvordem MLA Dipak Pauskar split the MGP Legislative Party and joined the BJP before the Acting Speaker Michael Lobo at 1.45 am on March 27.
After wee hours swearing in ceremony of Dr Pramod Sawant cabinet this was the second such development after mid-night.
MGP’s Manohar Ajgaonkar and Deepak Pauskar had given a letter to merge their legislature party with the BJP to the Speaker at 1:45 am after splitting MGP legislative Wing into MGP (2).
“We, Manohar Ajgaonkar and Deepak Pauskar have agreed to merge with the Bharatiya Janata Party. In view of the Sub-Clause (2) of Clause (4) of the Tenth Schedule, and in view of the fact that we constitute 2/3rd of the members of the Legislative Party such merger shall be deemed to have taken place,” the letter said.
Since two out of the three members have merged with the BJP, they are saved from the anti-defection law, which makes it mandatory for two-thirds of a party to break away in case of a split.
Immediately, the order of merger was issued by Secretary Legislature N.B Subedar, “Whereas the MG Legislative Party has decided to merge in the BJP and a communication to that effect has been addressed by two MLAs, namely Ajgaonkar and Deepak Pauskar pursuant to a written communication dated 26th March 2019 and have agreed for such merger of MGLP in BJP.”
“..and whereas the total strength of the MGP is three members and such these two members constitute 2/3rd of the members. Therefore, in view of the above, and taking into consideration sub-para (1) and (2) of para 4 of the tenth Schedule to teh constitution of India, the MGP legislative Party has merged in BJP.”
Criticised for facilitating the late-night defection, Michael Lobo, the officiating Speaker, said: “See, the job of a Speaker is 24 hours. When an MLA wants to meet the Speaker, he has to be available. Both MLAs called me and wanted to meet me, in order to merge with the BJP. I had to meet them.”
The Congress had emerged the single-largest party in the 2017 Goa polls but the BJP had taken power with help from the MGP and the Goa Forward Party.
The MGP has been an alliance partner of the BJP in Goa since 2012. Its breakaway lawmakers said they decided on Tuesday evening to merge their faction with the BJP in the interest of the people. The MGP split came hours after president Dipak Dhavalikar threatened to withdraw from the BJP-led government citing conspiracy.
Chief Minister Pramod Sawant won his floor test last week with the support of 20 lawmakers of the BJP, MGP, Goa Forward and independents. The assembly is four short after the death of two members and the resignation of two Congress lawmakers.
MGP wanted to topple alliance govt
Tourism Minister Babu Azgaonkar said that the MGP has become a family party and not the regional outfit as the Dhavalikar Bros control in and out of the party affairs and wanted to topple BJP led government.
”Goemkars know what is happening in the State. The way Lavoo Mamledar, who belongs from Bahujan Samaj, has been treated, it can been foreseen how Dhavalikar family will go ahead with the Bahujan Samaj,” he said.
He further said that this also raises a big question on what will happen to Dalit like himself.
“Looking at all this, I have quit local party and merged with the national party, and it has its presence across the country. The fast development was brought in by late Manohar Parrikar in my constituency, and I have the same faith in the present CM,” he said adding “That is why we decided that MGP will always be of Dhavalikar family, and it will never be for the Bahujan Samaj. We thus took resolution to merge with the BJP”.
Azgaonakr said despite being a senior member MGP never invited him for any party meet.
“We were not taken into confidence while expelling Lavoo. We were never consulted on Deepak candidature from Shiroda. It is a BJP vacant seat how can MGP field its candidate there?” he asked.
He said the Shiroda by polls is one of the issue for our split.
“MGP made efforts to topple this govt. They had planned to form government with Congress but I did not support it. I had said Babu will never support move to topple government. Even today they were planning to do something using us that is why we decided to split,” he added.
Wanted to merge 8 months ago: Pawaskar
Stating that the MGP’s Dhavalikar Brothers always ill-treated them, Sanvordem MLA Deepak Pauskar said that the move for planned eight months back but due to illness of then CM it was held back.
“I was never invited for Central Committee meeting. He never took us into confidence….keeping us aside Dhavalikar’s used to take all the decisions and we had questioned him many times,” he said.
On Shiroda bypolls, he said, “We are alliance partners in BJP government, Sanvordem is BJP constituency, people did not vote for MGP it was for an individual”.
He said that whatever happened in the party for last 18 months was not good at all.
“Past eight-nine months, we had contacted Parrikar but due to his ill health it could not progress. But now Pramod Sawant has given us the justice,” he said.