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Speaker hears disqualification petition against ten ex-Congress MLAs

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Porvorim: Goa Legislative Assembly Speaker Rajesh Patnekar on Tuesday heard the disqualification petition filed by Congress against ten of its former MLAs who had switched over to join BJP.

In the month of June, this year, ten Congress MLAs had merged their group into BJP in Goa following which Sonia Gandhi-led party had filed disqualification petition against them.

The petition has been filed against Deputy Speaker and Canacona MLA Isidore Fernandes, Deputy Chief Minister and Quepem MLA Chandrakant Kavlekar, WRD Minister and Velim MLA Filipe Neri Rodrigues, Revenue Minister and Taleigao MLA Jennifer Monserratte, Panaji MLA Atanasio Monserratte, Cuncolim MLA Clafasio Dias, Nuvem MLA Wilfred D’Sa and Thivim MLA Nilkant Halarnkar.

Goa Pradesh Congress Committee President Girish Chodankar has filed disqualification petition against all the ten MLAs.

Lawyer Abhijit Gosawi representing Chodankar said that all the ten MLAs attract disqualification under the Tenth Schedule to Constitution of India as they have voluntarily given up membership of their original political party  on whose behalf they had contested and stood elected to the Goa State Legislative Assembly from their respective constituencies.

When contacted, Speaker of Legislative Assembly Patnekar said that he would be going through the detail petition post which second hearing will he called.

He said that the decision on whether notice to be issued to respondents would be taken during the next hearing.

After the merger, the strength of Congress members have been reduced to mere five on the floor of the House.

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