In an apparent swipe at the BJP over eight Congress MLAs crossing over to the saffron party in Goa, senior Congress leader P Chidambaram on Wednesday said since 2014, there is a ”wholesale buyer” in the Indian market and one day, that buyer will buy nearly all the MLAs and mock the voters of the country.
The former Union minister also hailed the three Congress MLAs in Goa, who did not cross over to the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) with their eight colleagues, for their ”steadfast loyalty” to god, the party, the electorate and principles.
Eight of the 11 Congress MLAs in the coastal state, including former chief minister Digambar Kamat, joined the BJP on Wednesday, dealing a body blow to the opposition party.
Three Congress MLAs — Carlos Ferreira, Yuri Alemao and Altone D’Costa — remained with the grand old party in the 40-member Goa Assembly.
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In a series of tweets, Chidambaram said: ”The curse of Goa’s politics is the ‘buying’ of MLAs. Since 2014, there is a wholesale buyer in the Indian market. One day, the wholesale buyer will buy nearly all the MLAs in India and mock the voters of India. Then, what will the voters do?” ”A party can field veterans. It can field new faces. It can field educated candidates. If they win and the wholesale buyer ‘buys’ them at any price, what can the party do?” asked Chidambaram, who was the Congress’s senior observer for the Goa Assembly polls held earlier this year.
Unless the people of Goa revolt against the ”sold” MLAs, they cannot wipe out the curse that has been with them for the last two decades, the former Union minister said.
In a tweet earlier, Chidambaram said: ”Carlos Ferreira, Yuri Alemao and Altone D’Costa stand tall and proud among the ranks of Honourable MLAs. I salute them for their steadfast loyalty to God, their party, their electorate and their principles.” ”May God and the people of Goa bless them,” he added.
In January, the Congress candidates had taken a loyalty pledge at a temple, a church and a dargah in Goa ahead of the Assembly polls.
In July 2019, 10 Congress MLAs had switched over to the BJP in the coastal state.
Hours before they formally joined the saffron party, the eight Congress MLAs — Kamat, Michael Lobo, Delilah Lobo, Rajesh Phaldesai, Kedar Naik, Sankalp Amonkar, Aleixo Sequeira and Rudolf Fernandes — were seen interacting with Chief Minister Pramod Sawant in a photo that went viral on social media platforms.
Alemao, D’Costa and Ferreira were not present at the meeting with Sawant and said they would stay in the Congress.