‘Some people are greedy, BJP trying to bargain with them’: Goa Congress in-charge on mutiny buzz

Amid mutiny in Goa Congress, Dinesh Gundu Rao, Congress’ Goa in-charge, slammed his own party leaders Digambar Kamat and Michael Lobo on Monday. Dinesh Gundu Rao said some people are greedy and ambitious and the BJP is trying to bargain with them.

In an exclusive interview with India Today TV, Dinesh Rao, said, “Congress gave big positions to Digambar Kamat and Michael Lobo. But some people are greedy and ambitious and the BJP is trying to bargain with them. The BJP is playing a big game and offering huge money to them to switch parties.”

The Congress leader said that the plan of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and his own party leaders to engineer a two-third split in the party has failed. Dinesh Gundu Rao claimed that party MLAs were offered Rs 25 crore to join the BJP.

Hitting out at Kamat and Lobo, Congress’ Goa in-charge said, “BJP was trying to engineer a 2/3 split in Congress and their own party leaders Micheal Lobo and former Goa Chief Minister Digambar Kamat were also involved in this.”

On Sunday, out of the total 11 Congress MLAs in the state, five — Michael Lobo, Digambar Kamat, Kedar Naik, Rajesh Faldesai and Delialah Lobo — had gone incommunicado, fueling buzz about defection.

ALSO READ| Goa Congress seeks disqualification of MLAs Michael Lobo, Digambar Kamat for trying to engineer split

When asked about half of Congress leaders are out on their way to join the BJP within six months of elections, Dinesh Gundu Rao said, “We have sacked Michael Lobo as the Leader of the Opposition in the Goa Assembly. The party has also filed a disqualification plea against Congress MLAs Michael Lobo and Digambar Kamat for trying to engineer a split in the party. At present, we have seven Congress MLAs.”

Ahead of the state elections in Goa, Congress candidates had sworn in a temple, church and dargah that they would not defect.

When asked why would BJP offer money to opposition leaders when it is already in power in Goa, the leader replied, “You should ask BJP about this. The mining and coal lobby is involved in this. The BJP is doing this because they do not want any opposition in the country. They want to silence opposition, especially the Congress, who can challenge them.”

“BJP has incredible money. They are using this money, institutional mechanism, central agencies like the ED to silence people who speak against them,”Dinesh Gundu Rao said when asked why the Congress is so vulnerable when it comes to poaching of MLAs.

ALSO READ| 5 MLAs untraceable: Goa Congress hit by mutiny within 3 months of polls

The Congress leader also claimed that the mutiny in Goa Congress was done by national leaders of the BJP and senior chief ministers were also involved in this. Rao said that Assam Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma is also involved in whatever is happening in Goa.

Michael Lobo had left Congress to join the saffron camp ahead of the Goa elections.

Replying to why the party did not introspect Lobo before offering him a ticket, Dinesh Gundu Rao said,”In politics, people switch parties. He joined the Congress party and contested on that ticket and it cannot be termed as defection. What the BJP is doing is a systematic attempt to silence the opposition. Not only Goa, the entire country is facing this problem.”

He further said, “Things are not well in the Congress party and efforts are being made to correct them. I also thank my first-time MLAs who did not succumb to this.”

— ENDS —

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