New Ministers Join Goa Cabinet, Including 3 Congress Defectors

Congress increasing BJP’s membership: Kerala CM’s jibe at party’s political crisis

While the Chief Minister had on Thursday ruled out any immediate reshuffle of his cabinet, he eventually relented and asked four current ministers to resign.

Chandrakant Kavlekar, Jennifer Monserrate and Filipe Néri Rodrigues who were among 10 Congress MLAs who joined the BJP in Goa on Wednesday were sworn in as ministers along with former deputy Speaker of the Assembly Michael Lobo on Saturday.

Breather for Congress-JD (S) ruling combine as the Supreme Court said that it needed to be examined if Speaker KR Ramesh Kumar required time to decide on disqualification of the MLAs.

The MLAs boarded a luxury bus from the HAL airport and proceeded towards the Vidhana Soudha, the state secretariat.

Congress leader and Karnataka Irrigation Minister D K Shivakumar, who is back in Bengaluru after a failed trip to Mumbai to meet and placate the rebel MLAs staying there, expressed his optimism that "good sense will prevail" and the dissidents will withdraw their resignations.

Pinarayi was referring to the defection of 10 Congress leaders to the BJP in Goa and the resignations of 18 Cong-JD (S) MLAs in Karnataka. The party members filed an intervention application in the top court, saying that resignation of lawmakers is "tantamount to defection", and hence demanded their disqualification. "We have taken this decision to give good governance to the people", he said.

The bench told Singhvi that Kumar's application will be heard on Friday.

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According to reports, when such mass defections were taking place inside the party, the CM asked if the grand old party must remain without leadership at the helm.

"I can continue as chief minister after the floor test in view of the prevailing political situation caused by the spate of resignations by some of our legislators", added Kumaraswamy. "If he can't decide on resignations, then it is a brazen case of contempt".

"It is only after such enquiry/process that the satisfaction of the Speaker can be reached", he submitted.

The bench specifically mentioned in the order that the speaker would not decide on the issue of the resignation or the disqualification of the rebel MLAs to enable the court to judge the larger issues raised during the hearing of the matter.

The 10 rebels, including seven of the Congress and three of the JD-S, had petitioned the apex court on July 10 that the Speaker was deliberately delaying acceptance of their resignations they submitted to his office on July 6.

The court's powers to issue directions to a Speaker on legislative matters.

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