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Goa government in trouble as 5 MLAs revolt

January 13, 2010 01:53 IST

Trouble appeared to be brewing for the Digamber Kamat government in Goa as five ruling Congress MLAs are understood to have demanded the Chief Minister's removal and seven non-Congress legislators have backed their campaign for leadership change.

In the 40-member Goa assembly, Kamat government enjoys the support of 26 MLAs-- Congress' 18 MLAs NCP's 3, Maharashtra Gomantak Party's 2, United Goa Democratic Party's one and two independents and if the 12 MLAs withdraw support, the Kamat ministry will be reduced to a minority.

Main opposition BJP has 14 members in the House. Party sources said the Congress legislators, including Public Works Minister Churchill Alemao, Pandurang Madkaikar, Aleixo Lourenco Reginaldo, Fransisco Silveira met at a cafe near Miramar beach on Tuesday evening and were understood to have demanded Kamat be replaced as they have "lost faith" in him.

The dissidence by the five Congress MLAs came in the wake a group of seven non-Congress MLAs, who have extended support to Kamat government, initiating a similar move for leadership change.

The non-Congress camp consists of 3 NCP, 2 MGP and two independent MLAs Vishwajit Rane and Atanasio Monserratte.

"We have decided that Assembly Speaker Pratapsingh Rane, the seniormost legislator in the assembly, should take over the reins of the state," a Congress MLA told PTI.

None of the dissident MLAs was ready to come on record about their demand.

Monserratte was on the record accusing the chief minister of having failed to deliver the goods and hence he may press for leadership change.

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