Leader of Opposition in the Goa assembly, Digambar Kamat, will move a private members resolution seeking significant changes to the anti-defection law in its present form.
The Congress leader said “there needs to be accountability and responsibility of every elected representative towards the people”. The party has suffered huge losses because of defection. Right after the 2017 assembly elections, when the Congress won a decent 17 out of the 40 seats, one party MLA resigned, and joined the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP). Down to 16, the Congress then saw two more MLAs move to the BJP the next year. It managed to win Manohar Parrikar’s Panaji seat, bringing its numbers to 15. Of these 15, 10 MLAs defected to BJP in 2019, reducing the party to just 5 MLAs in the assembly.
“Today, in spite of the mandate given by the people, the elected representatives violate that mandate. We elect a representative for five years. Our mandate given to the people by our elected representatives is very clear. In spite of that, elected representatives start defecting,” said Kamat.
“One option is that such matters be referred directly to the high court or the Supreme Court for an express judgment — should be given within a period of 60 days. Second, if someone has a difference of opinion with his party leadership, he has an option to resign and seek a fresh mandate from the people. But under no circumstances are people who have been elected for five years should defect,” said Kamat, who himself left the BJP for the Congress in 2005 after resigning as an MLA and contesting again.
“I will move a private members resolution in the legislative assembly suggesting that the House should resolve to recommend to the Centre to make necessary changes in the anti-defection law which will stop all such defection and I appeal to all my colleagues to unanimously support this resolution,” he said.
A three-day session of the assembly has been planned from July 28-30.
The Congress wasn’t the only party to lose legislators to the BJP. Maharashtrawadi Gomantak Party lost two of its three legislators to the BJP which managed to win only 13 seats in the 40 member House but formed the government with the help of regional parties such as the Goa Forward Party and the Maharashtrawadi Gomantak Party.
Congress state unit chief Girish Chodankar said this time, not a single MLA would defect. “We have changed our selection process. We will field 75-80% young faces in the coming election,” Chodankar said. The state goes to polls in 2022.
News Source: HindustanTimes