Goa BJP legislator Michael Lobo may join Congress
Goa minister and BJP legislator Michael Lobo is likely to quit the party and join the Congress soon.
Goa minister and Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) legislator Michael Lobo is likely to quit the party and join the Congress soon, people familiar with the development said on Wednesday.
For the past few months, Lobo, the state’s minister for waste management, has been expressing his displeasure over the functioning of the BJP in the poll-bound coastal state.
Congress functionaries aware of the development told HT that Lobo has been in talks with the party leadership for the last few months and has put forth his interest of joining the fold if his wife is granted ticket to contest the upcoming assembly elections from Siolim constituency.
Lobo, who represents Calangute assembly constituency, has also put forth request for party tickets to some of his aides in other seats in the Bardez taluka of Goa, which will go to polls in the next few months, the functionaries said on condition of anonymity.
“Lobo’s joining is imminent. The only question is when he joins the party,” one of the functionaries said.
Lobo has himself kept his cards close to his chest, saying on multiple occasions that he will reveal them at the “right time”.
Lobo’s wife Delilah has already begun her campaign in the neighbouring Siolim constituency without saying on which party’s ticket she will be contesting the poll. The Congress functionaries cited above said she too will join the party in the next few days.
Lobo’s aide Kedar Naik, sarpanch of Reis Magos village that falls in the Saligao constituency, has resigned from the BJP, citing the party’s “disregard for loyal karyakartas”. He too is expected to join the Congress over the coming days. Several of Lobo’s aides, including Tarak Arolkar, have already joined the Congress.
Sudhir Kandolkar, another Lobo loyalist, who joined the Congress in 2019 and contested the by-election for the Mapusa constituency the same year, has already been announced as the Congress candidate for the same constituency.
Last week, Lobo had claimed that the BJP was “no longer the party” that was built up by former Goa chief minister Manohar Parrikar and that several of the late leader’s loyalists have been side-lined.
“The BJP was known as a party with a difference. It is known lately that it is not a party with a difference. Party workers have no importance in the party now,” Lobo had said (when and where?)
“Chosen candidates of Parrikar are being side-lined by the party. There are some groups within the party who do not want wellwishers of Manohar Parrikar, who want to take his legacy forward within the party,” he had added.
On Monday, when asked if he was going to quit the BJP, Lobo had said that he was “only making known to the party’s leadership the sentiments of the grassroots workers”.
“I have never said that I will be leaving the BJP but some of the BJP karyakartas have been sidelined by the party. I have raised this issue with CM Pramod Sawant and state (BJP) president Sadanand Tanavade,” Lobo had said.
Speaking on the matter, BJP state president Sadanand Shet Tanavade said, “I have no information about this. I met him (Lobo) as recently as yesterday and he didn't personally talk to me about his disappointment with the functioning of the party.”