Goa Speaker summons three NCP MLAs after two defy party



Panaji: Goa Assembly Speaker has summoned all the three NCP MLAs for a meeting on January 24, after the party informed that it wanted to replace its whip and the legislative wing's president.

Speaker Pratapsingh Rane told reporters last night that he has summoned all the three NCP MLAs as he has received a letter from their party about replacement of the legislative wing's president and the whip.

After meeting the three MLAs (Jose Philip D'Souza, Nilkant Halarnkar and Fransisco Micky Pacheco), the Speaker will give his decision on January 25.

NCP's General Secretary T P Pithambaram on December 31 had written to the Speaker informing about appointment of Pacheco as the legislative wing's president as well as the whip of the party in the Legislative Assembly.

The letter followed D'Souza and Halarnkar's refusal to accept the party diktat to resign from Chief Minister Digamber Kamat's cabinet. NCP was reportedly unhappy with the duo's close relations with Congress.

Sources close to Halarnkar said that both he and D'Souza have resolved to remain united. They are likely to tell the Speaker that they want to continue with D'souza as legislative wing's president and Halarnkar as the whip.

Sources pointed out that two out of three legislators will make up a majority, and Speaker will have to take that into consideration.

NCP Goa unit President Surendra Sirsat said that the party will wait for the Speaker's decision.

"Let him say something then only we can react...We expect that Speaker will respect the letter given by the party," he said.

PTI