Congress largest party in Garo Hills mixed mandate

PANAJI: The Congress in Goa on Wednesday filed a complaint of cheating and forgery with the police against the ten former MLAs who had defected to the BJP in 2019 accusing them of preparing a fake document regarding the merger of their parent party, a day after the Assembly Speaker dismissed the disqualification petitions against them.

The complaint filed by Goa state Congress president Girish Chodankar with the Panaji police also names former Congressman and incumbent Deputy Chief Minister Chandrakant Kavlekar.

In a major relief for the BJP government in Goa, Speaker Rajesh Patnekar on Tuesday dismissed disqualification petitions against twelve MLAs including the ten former Congress legislators who crossed over to the ruling party in 2019.

The BJP currently has 27 MLAs in the 40-member house.

Chodankar had filed a disqualification petition against the ten MLAs who switched sides in 2019.

The MGP’s Sudin Dhavalikar had filed a similar plea against two of the party MLAs who joined the ruling party in the same year.

Chodankar’s complaint names Kavlekar, Philipe Neri Rodrigues, Jeniffer Monserratte, Isidore Fernandes, Nilkant Halarnkar, Atanasio Monserratte, Antonio Fernandes, Francis Silveira, Wilfred D’Sa and Clafacio Dias.

As per the plaint, “the accused conspired together and created a false document claiming to be a resolution of the Goa Pradesh Congress Committee (GPCC) dated July 10, 2019, merging the party in the Goa Legislative Assembly (the Congress Legislative Party) into the BJP”.

“The aforesaid document is created illegally using counterfeit letterhead and counterfeit seal of the GPCC,” the complaint stated.

It said the document was produced by the accused in their written statement filed before the Speaker of the Goa Assembly “as their defence” in connection with the disqualification petition.

A Panaji police station official said they have received the complaint.