Congress Goa in-charge Dinesh Gundu Rao (extreme right), Michael Lobo and other Goa Congress leaders at a meeting in Panaji on July 9, 2022.
Congress Goa in-charge Dinesh Gundu Rao (extreme right), Michael Lobo and other Goa Congress leaders at a meeting in Panaji on July 9, 2022.

Congress removes Michael Lobo as Leader of Opposition in Goa, to take action against ex-CM Kamat

Panaji, July 10, 2022

The Congress on Sunday said it had removed Michael Lobo as Leader of Opposition in the Goa Assembly and that it would also take action against former Chief Minister Digambar Kamat for hatching a conspiracy to split its MLAs and defect to the ruling BJP.

Addressing a press conference, Congress' Goa in-charge Dinesh Gundu Rao accused Lobo and Kamat of hatching a conspiracy to damage the party.

"They hobnobbed with the BJP to see that the Congress, which is the principal opposition party, is weakened and a split engineered," he said, adding the Congress still has six MLAs out of the total 11.

The Kamat and Lobo group would require 8, or two-thirds of the total number of Congress MLAs, to defect.

"These (Kamat and Lobo) are the same people who had pledged before the Almighty, before elections, that they will never leave the party and will never defect. It is the clear reflection of how much they value God and what is the true value of their oath," Gundu Rao said.

He alleged that both of these leaders were working with BJP in the background.

"One person (Lobo) to safeguard his own skin because of so many cases were against him and the other person (Kamat) even though Congress had given him all the positions, including making him Chief Minister for 5 years, even though he had recently joined the party then and was the Leader of Opposition... just for sake of power and position and I don't know what else... these two in total coordination with BJP have hatched this conspiracy," he added.

Rao claimed that the BJP's mission is to finish off the opposition in the country. "They want to especially finish the Congress. Because by finishing the Congress and by trying to weaken the Congress, they feel that nobody will stop them from doing whatever they want."

"Michael Lobo is immediately removed from the post of LoP. New leader will be elected and whatever action has to be taken will be taken as per law," he said.

"We are confident that whoever... we don't know how many people will stay and how many may move, but we have our numbers today. We have six MLAs and others are in touch," he said.

Gundu Rao also said that whatever happens, the Congress will not be disheartened. "We will not be weakened, we will take this issue in a more aggressive manner. We will take it to the people and show how betrayal was done for the sake of power and personal gain," he said.

"This kind of situation is faced across the country. BJP is using institutional power, using money power, government power to see that those who expose them, they should be finished. This thing is happening in Goa also," he said.

Gundu Rao said that Goa would teach them a befitting lesson and the Congress would continue to struggle and fight to save democracy.

On July 10, 2019, 10 Congress MLAs had joined the BJP.


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