BJP MLA in Goa resigns, set to join Congress



Panaji: BJP legislator in Goa Rajesh Patnekar today resigned as a member of the legislative Assembly to join the Congress party soon.

Patnekar, a two time legislator from Bicholim constituency, today submitted his resignation to the Speaker of the Legislative Assembly Pratapsingh Rane.

However, his exit could not be considered unexpected owing to his political proximity to the Congress minister Vishwajit Rane.

After tendering the resignation, Patnekar told reporters that his decision to join Congress is taken thoughtfully and he is sure to get a Congress ticket for the forthcoming Assembly polls.

"Congress Goa desk in-charge Jagmeet Brar, chief minister Digambar Kamat, Pradesh Congress committee chief Subhash Shirodkar and minister Vishwajit Rane has assured me the ticket. My ticket is confirmed," Patnekar said responding to a question. He added that he would join the Congress over the next eight days.

Patnekar also said that he "had to quit for the development of the constituency and to solve the large-scale unemployment problem there."

He said the constituency was neglected by the ruling coalition, since the time BJP lost power in the state.

"I have been struggling a lot for the development, but could not do it," Patnekar said.

Patnekar's resignation has brought down BJP's strength to 13 in the 40-seat Goa legislative Assembly.

However, BJP today gave a guarded reaction over the development. The Leader of Opposition Manohar Parrikar said that Patnekar's resignation was expected.

Parrikar said, "He has been hobnobbing with the Congress for quite some time now. It was expected that he would join Congress."

PTI