Panaji: Ten Congress MLAs out of 15 have split from the Congress and are going to merge with the BJP later tonight, Congress MLA Isidore Fernandes told reporters on Wednesday.
"10 Congress MLAs are splitting from the Congress and joining the BJP tonight," Fernandes said. Leader of Opposition Chandrakant Kavlekar is the leader of the group which has split from the Congress, Fernandes said.
"We are going to meet the Speaker now. Once we step out, we would formally announce what has happened," said Deputy Speaker of the state assembly Michael Lobo, who led the group of rebel Congress MLAs to Speaker Rajesh Patnekar's office in the assembly premises.
The 10 Congress MLAs who are part of the rebel group are Chandrakant Kavlekar, Isidore Fernandes, Francis Silveira, Filipe Neri Rodrigues, Jennifer and Atanasio Monserrate, Antonio Fernandes, Nilakanth Halarnkar, Clafacio Dias and Wilfred D'Sa.
The development brings down the legislative strength of the Congress to a paltry five MLAs. It includes Digambar Kamat, Luzinho Faleiro, Ravi Naik, Pratapsingh Rane, all of whom have served as Chief MInister and MLA Aliexo Reginaldo.